Maximillian Miles Plumb

Maximillian Miles Plumb

Love, laughter, strength, curiosity, friend

Max always had a radiant, friendly personality and developed a quick wit at a young age. What had started as a coping mechanism for his struggle with his weight became his strength—and turned him into an absolute people magnet. With his brilliant smile, kind nature, and great sense of humor, he was rarely—if ever—without friends.

Aside from the social aspect, Max was never very fond of school. After the tenth grade, he dropped out. One of his father, Sean’s, rules was that if he dropped out, he would need to get a full-time job. So, after quitting school, he immediately walked up the street to get a job at Anthony’s Pizza. Within a matter of months, he was managing the place.

Max had many passions, but two stood above the rest: Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu (BJJ) and making pizza. From an outsider’s standpoint, they couldn’t be any more different. For Max, however, they had many things in common: both required focus, discipline, and creativity. They made him happy, and he excelled at both. One of his greatest accomplishments was earning a blue belt in BJJ. His fitness journey and renewed confidence inspired many people he spoke with to take up the sport as well. He had a dream to help expand the BJJ gym and manage a second branch for them. Another dream was to own his own pizza parlor. Max could throw together great dishes without consulting a recipe, but he loved to make pizza. He successfully opened a pizza kitchen in a nearby brewery—that just so happened to be next to the BJJ gym.

Things changed abruptly for Max after his ex-girlfriend’s new boyfriend broke into his apartment while he was away at work. When he went to retrieve his stolen belongings, he came back with a broken jaw. His jaw required two surgeries to fix and caused him immense pain. Though he tried to avoid using painkillers, it was—as with many—the start of his substance use disorder (SUD). He struggled with addiction for nearly a decade afterward.

Max’s passing left an indelible mark on Sean’s life and influenced his view on SUD. “It happened so fast that we didn’t really know how bad it was, or what to do about it,” he said. “I thought that ‘tough love’ was the path. In retrospect, that was probably not the best option. SUD isn’t a cold you can just get over. It isn’t something a pill will just cure.”

The variety of people flocking to Max’s Celebration of Life amazed Sean. Gym buddies, carpenters, pilots—people from all walks of life were eager to share how Max’s friendship had touched their lives. Beneath a video tribute on YouTube, one of these friends wrote: “God love ya, Max—we sure did!”
Sean shares Max’s kindness and generosity with those not fortunate enough to have met him through fundraising for those in recovery. Most of the funding goes to the Max Plumb Scholarship at the Jefferson Center for Mental Health Recovery Center. A small portion also helps maintain a full-time mental health counselor at Max’s former high school, Wheat Ridge High.

Max’s father, Sean Plumb, provided the information for this narrative.
December 10, 1989 – September 20, 2020–Age 30

Portrait Artist: Jeremy Hebbel
Narrative Writer: Angela Day

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