These are the words Hampden Meade Maxwell lived by and how he would want to be remembered by.
Meade was born May 9th, 1995, at Bon Secours Hospital in Grosse Pointe, MI, to Christy Swift Maxwell and the late Peter T. Maxwell Sr. He passed away September 26th, 2020, with his mother by his side. He was the youngest of three boys.
Although Meade's life was short, he did have an impact on all who had the privilege of knowing him. Meade was an "old soul" and was wise beyond his years. His kindness, thoughtful ways, and genuine compassion for his fellow human beings was inspirational. He took pride in doing the "right" thing and leading by example. Like his father, he had the gift of being an ambassador, an incredible listener, and a problem solver. They also shared a passion for Detroit sports. Mostly the frustration of the Detroit Lions.
Meade began his lifelong friendships at the Grosse Pointe Academy in early school when he was three years old. He spent his early, elementary, and middle school years developing a solid foundation of friends, academic excellence, and mentors he considered his extended family. Meade graduated from the Academy as a member of the National Junior Honor Society and Class President in 2008.
Grosse Pointe South was his high school choice, where his social circle continued to grow, and his academics excelled. Meade played JV and Varsity Basketball and was also a member of the JV and Varsity lacrosse teams. His laugh became notoriously contagious, as well as his colorful wardrobe, and his smile was one you could never forget. He was a member of the class of 2013.
After too many cold Michigan winters, Meade was accepted to and chose the College of Charleston in Charleston, South Carolina. He wasn't too sure how welcomed a "Yankee" would be in the south. But to his delight, he was welcomed with open arms. Meade became a member of the Kappa Sigma Fraternity and quite the connoisseur of fine southern dining, where he honed his love of being a "foodie." He loved Charleston and its history along with the architecture, charm, vibrance, and people. He would often remark how he found a new wonderful historical park or a beautiful home, even an arbor of jasmine that he couldn't wait to share with his friends and family. Meade graduated with a degree in Business Administration in 2018.
Meade then headed back to his hometown of Grosse Pointe Farms, where he spent time with his parents and charting out a course for his future and all the success he looked forward to having in life. He always focused on the day-to-day but looked forward to all of the "tomorrows."
Harbor Springs, Michigan, played a vital role in Meade's life, where he made many incredible loyal friends from all over the country. He had spent every summer of his life there and many winter weekends sailing, skiing, and being with family and friends. Meade started sailing at Little Traverse Sailors at 9-years-old and never left. When he "graduated" from sail school, he became a sailing instructor. In 2015, it was quite the honor for Meade to be promoted to Director and Head Sailing Instructor of the LTS program. He loved all of his students and his staff. He took pride in teaching and mentoring his students, reinforcing their sailing skills, and sharing his love and respect for the water as well for each other.
Like his father, Meade had an affinity for cars and boats. Cruising the harbor to watch a beautiful sunset or putting around the bay, he felt at home on the water. When the waters were too cold or rough, his attention would turn to his cars. He loved to cruise Lakeshore or the Germanic roads of northern Michigan, listening to songs from the '60s and '70s.
Meade loved winter, too, when the boats were "worked on." He loved to ski, and Nubs Nob was where he learned and returned to every season. He was fortunate to have the opportunity to ski in many states, but since Nubs had the best honey mustard, it was a foodie destination for him.
Meade had an incredible fashion sense. He was the only one who could put together a turquoise blazer with purple pants, a green tie, and a yellow shirt and have it look like it belonged together. Not to mention the colorful Nike's that would finish off the look. At 6'4," he was a walking rainbow and would take such delight at people's reactions, mostly their smiles.
Meade was a natural-born leader who led by example and encouraged others to be their personal best at whatever they chose. His attention to detail and passion for the little things in life made him an amazing gentleman. He was a renaissance man who was generous and thoughtful. He was a man's man and a ladies' man. He was incredibly kind and knew what it meant to be a friend. He was so much more than just a bunch of words on a piece of paper.
God Speed sweet Meade.
Fair skies too.
I hope they are all your favorite color, blue.
Meade is survived by his mother, Christy Swift Maxwell, and his two older brothers Peter T. Maxwell Jr, Gordon Swift Maxwell, many aunts, uncles, cousins, and so many friends who loved him.
His father predeceased him, Peter T. Maxwell Sr, Grandparents Hampden M. Swift, Margaret M. Swift, Phillip H. Maxwell, and Harriet W. Maxwell.
In lieu of flowers, please consider a donation to the Little Traverse Sailors.
PO Box 583
Harbor Springs, MI 49740
A memorial service will be held in the late spring of 2021.
Dear Christy and Family,
I was so sorry to hear that Meade had passed away. He was a kind and considerate man, always grateful to others and sensitive to others' needs. I enjoyed our too brief time with him. I wish your family peace and comfort
Chris, RN, Ann Arbor
My Daughter, Madeline has been in the LTS program for the last 5 years. Meade was one of her favorite instructors. I believe he greeted us on our first day of sail school. Our hearts go out to Maxwell family. 😘
I am a member of the Traverse Yacht Club. I am am so sorry for the loss to your family. I had talked to him several times concerning Grosse Pointe South, the Little Traverse Sailors, and other things. He was so kind and respectful to an old man. You appear to have a wonderful family. Such a sad loss of a fine young man!! I have donated to the Little Traverse Sailors in his memory!!!
We knew Meade through his time as sailing school director at Little Traverse Sailing School. Our kids Jack, Cade and Claire were all in the program. Meade managed to connect with all three of our kids, knew their names, and we got a photo of him with all three kids because they loved him so much. He seemed to connect with every kid in the program, make them feel cool and special, and pass his love of sailing on to them. We are so sorry to hear of his passing, and are praying for the family.
I was a senior when Meade joined the fraternity in the fall of 2013. At that point in my college life, the affairs of Freshmen should have been insignificant. But Meade and his group of friends were a joy to be around, and their presence was significant. Meade lead the pack with the biggest smile, and I'll always remember him fondly. My prayers go out to the Maxwell family and the entire fall 2013 pledge class.
Meade you were all heart. You had a heart for living, a heart for fun and a huge heart for your friends and family.
Meade you loved moving fast and gracefully across the planet when you played sports, sailed, power boated or in your Bemer.
We miss you Meade. We will celebrate your life forever. We pray you and your father are enjoying driving your Ford and Ferrari.
We are holding your mother and brothers with infinite love and prayers.
When I think of Meade I think of summer up in Harbor Springs Michigan. Chasing friends on bicycles, eating endless yummies ice cream, and of course jumping in the cold cold lake. I remember you turning off Pennsylvania down the drive to the yellow cottage back in the trees. That summer it seemed like our group of friend’s laughter echoed throughout town. May you Rest In Peace Meade.
Meade was among the happiest and most positive young people I have ever had the chance to know and love. Reading this memorial tells me even more than I thought I knew about this extraordinary young man. I always loved the way he said, "Hi Mrs. Smith", with his broad and bright smile ever present. Meade's manners were exceptional -- a tribute to his loving parents -- and he made everywhere he went and everyone he met just a whole lot better. The Smith family will miss Meade dearly. Our hearts and prayerful thoughts are with his mom and brothers.
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