Cover photo for Johnny "Max" Smith, Jr.'s Obituary
Johnny "Max" Smith, Jr. Profile Photo
1940 Johnny "Max" Smith, Jr. 2023

Johnny "Max" Smith, Jr.

January 29, 1940 — September 27, 2023

Denver, CO

Johnny “Max” Smith, Jr., age 83, went to be with his Heavenly Father on Wednesday, September 27, 2023, at his home in Denver, Colorado. He was born on January 29, 1940, to Johnnie Max Smith, Sr. and Mary Peek Smith in Tuskegee, Alabama.

Max often spoke of his memories of growing up in Tuskegee. Max enjoyed cooking, and often was trying recipes that his Grandmother Peek made. He could never quite bake/make the recipe so it would taste exactly like his Grandmother’s. He often shared stories with Trudy, his wife, of his youth. In telling the stories, he shared tales of fishing, hunting, and sleeping near the creek with his friends Harry Youngblood, Bobby Story, and his cousin Bob.

He attended Tuskegee High School, graduating in 1958. Max was recognized in his senior year for his sportsmanship and voted as the most valuable player on the football team. He participated in three major sports, was active in numerous school activities: choral group, 4-H club, and FFA. He was a member of the Tuskegee Methodist Church choir and active in the youth work of the church.

He attended the College of Architecture, Design, and Construction at Auburn University. What he learned in school led him to many different career opportunities. He managed the construction of several facilities, such as a cotton mill. Some other areas of accomplishment were owning a Real Estate Company; a mortgage broker; a real estate broker; a teacher at Home Depot in the flooring department. Before going to work for Colorado Floorworks, he owned his own flooring company, selling and installing carpet and flooring. He retired in February 2023 from Colorado Floorworks, where he was an estimator.

While living in Mississippi he taught Sunday School at his church. He believed in God. One day when driving on the road he realized he did not know God. He pulled off the road, knelt down, and asked the Lord Jesus into his life. He totally surrendered his life to Jesus.

In 1982 Max moved to Woodland, Colorado from Mississippi. From there he moved to Aurora, Colorado in 1986. While looking for a church to attend he saw there was a church named Mississippi Avenue Baptist. He decided to visit and soon became an usher and a Sunday School teacher. From this time until God called him home, he served the Lord with all his heart. He led Men’s Ministries, helped build churches here in Aurora and traveled to many states to assist in the building of a church, and opened his home for Bible studies. On June 1, 2013, Max wrote in his devotional “Today is the day God gave me the Birdhouse Ministry vision.” Max used this ministry of building birdhouses and birdfeeders to reach out to the community until Covid 19 shut things down. For approximately four years, once a month he took the unbuilt houses and feeders to Ronald McDonald House in Aurora. There, the kids, who were with their parents who had a child at Children’s Hospital, picked up drills and screws and built their very own birdhouse or feeder. They received a Certificate of Completion, declaring them as a “Professional Birdhouse Builder.” It brought great joy to Max to see the excitement of the kids when they finished their project. He used this ministry as a way to show the love of Jesus to many. This ministry went into assisted living facilities, parks, church yards, and 4th of July block parties.

Max’s legacy is one of faith and integrity. His favorite Bible verse was Proverbs 3:5-6.Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways acknowledge Him, and He will make your paths straight.” His favorite parable is found in Matthew 25. He lived his life wanting to hear Jesus say to him “Well done, good and faithful servant!” We will all miss him until we join him in the presence of our Heavenly Father.

Max is survived by his wife of almost 34 years, Trudy Smith; son Johnny Max Smith III “Pete” (Lori); daughters Sandy Smith Crapet (Lee) and Kristi Smith Leavins (David) and stepdaughter Laurie Norton (Steve); natural-born grandchildren Natali Smith Marti (Bob), Kane Smith (Samantha), Tatum, Fynley, Brogan, Dominick & Hezekiah Smith, Morgan & Reese Leavins and Mary & Joseph Crapet; grandchildren by marriage Nick Hernandez, Venessa Nustad (Patrick), MiKayla Gillette, Ben Norton (Erica), Reiley Sosnowski (Michael), Karlie & Jesslyn Norton and Bo Ehler, and six great grandchildren by marriage; niece Amy Ross Henrikson (Tom) and great nephew Alex Henrikson. Max is preceded in death by his parents Mary & Johnnie Max Smith, Sr., sister Silvia Ross (Bob), stepchildren Michael Ehler and Liza Gillette, and nephew Robert Ross, Jr.

Max’s celebration of life service will be held on October 18th at 1:00 pm at Redeemer Baptist Church located at 18800 E Iliff Ave. in Aurora.

The services will be streamed for those who cannot attend the services.  The link to access the live stream is below.

The family respectfully requests that, in lieu of flowers, a donation be made in Max’s name (Max Smith) to Ronald McDonald Charities of Denver. To donate please use the following link: https://rmhc-denver.org/donate/

Service Schedule

Past Services

Memorial Service

Wednesday, October 18, 2023

1:00 - 2:00 pm (Mountain (no DST) time)

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