Maximilian ‘Max’ S. Kaiser Jr.
Fortified with the Sacraments of Holy Mother Church Monday, January 10, 2022, passed away from complications of cancer.
Beloved son of the late Max S. Kaiser Sr. and the late Mary Grace Kaiser (nee Walsh), dearest brother of Mary Grace (John P.) Thompson, Thomas W. Sr. (Gigi) Kaiser, and James W. (Sandra) Kaiser; dearest uncle of Sarah, Samuel, Daniel, Rebekah and the late Rachel Thompson; Natalie (Mike) Engel, Tommy Jr., Zach and Jonathan Kaiser; and Luke and Sophia Kaiser, dearest nephew of Patricia (Roger Sr.) Eschbacher, the late Msgr. Gerold Kaiser VG, Francis X. Sr. (Mary Jo) Kaiser, Leo M. (Aurelia) Kaiser, and Joseph M. II (Margie) Walsh, beloved cousin and friend of many.
Services: Visitation and funeral Mass will be held Saturday, January 15 at St. Mary of Victories Catholic Church, 744 S. Third St. 63102. Visitation at 9 a.m. with the Mass to follow at 11 a.m. Interment immediately following Mass at Sts. Peter & Paul Cemetery.
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Although Max worked frequently behind the scenes, he was well known in many circles throughout St. Louis for his devotion and service to the Catholic church, his encyclopedic historical knowledge of the city, his activities in historic preservation, his connection with his family’s company (Mueller Kaiser Plating Company, prominent for refurbishing liturgical items), his enthusiasm for trains, his involvement in many worthwhile religious and civic organizations and charities, and his support of homeless and indigent military veterans.
Max had a multifaceted professional career that included working in public relations, advertising, sales and journalism for Monsanto; Kerlick, Switzer & Johnson Advertising; KMOX Radio; The Riverfront Times; Commerce Magazine; the St. Louis Suburban Journals; and Radisson Hotels in St. Paul, MN.
A former seminarian, Max’s service in the 1990s as a Chaplain Reservist Officer in the United States Air Force led him to raise funds for many homeless and indigent veterans and the St. Vincent de Paul Society. His efforts, fueled by a passion that every person, especially those who served in the United States military, should be remembered with a dignified burial and memorial, resulted in Max providing over 70 veterans with proper burials and grave markers. His enthusiasm to preserve historic St. Mary of Victories was also high on his list.
Among his affiliations, Max was a Fourth Degree Knights of Columbus and a member of the St. Vincent DePaul Society. He was named a Pontifical Knight of the Holy Sepulchre and was a member of the National Conference of Christians and Jews and the Latin Liturgy Association. He also was active in Jaycees International, Toastmaster’s International, American Legion, Catholic War Veterans of America, Optimists International, the United Way, and the Landmarks Association of St. Louis and was a member of the Missouri Historical Society, the VP Fair Executive Committee and the PR Society of America. Max was a founder of the National Catholic Museum of Art and History, the American Silver Museum, and a life member of the American Guild of Silversmiths.
Max was a proud graduate of Lindbergh High School and St. Louis University. He was a devoted Acolyte, sacristan, lector and docent at St. Mary of Victories Church for many years. He had similar roles at The Old Cathedral and many other historic Catholic churches in St. Louis.
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Patrick Kleaver saysJanuary 18, 2022 at 12:35 am
When Max helped out at the Old Cathedral, I remember him lassoing me many times to help take up the collections at Mass (he was always impeccably dressed – me, not so much!). Very aware of the church’s sanctity, he would speak in hushed tones when talking to me, and I regret that only upon reading his obituary do I now know so much more about his life and devotion to the Roman Catholic faith. Rest in peace, you good and faithful servant of God!
Herman Krueger saysJanuary 16, 2022 at 11:56 pm
Max was a truly unique individual. After meeting him you realized that he was, in various ways, different from anyone else that you knew. Conversations with him were memorable. If you asked the name of some familiar person, Max was likely to give not only the name, but also to include a biography and family ancestry of the individual. The conversations were often sprinkled with Latin or German phrases and subtle allusions. Max might make reference to “the gentleman from south St. Louis” or “a certain well known individual”. You would be left wondering if you should just ask Max who he was referring to or whether you should be able to figure it out yourself.
Max was something of a jack of all trades, and could talk about the details of manual tasks just as easily as some intellectual topic. He was very resourceful and always seemed to find a way to deal with any situation. He was the man around town and if you were at some public event it was not uncommon to turn around and see Max coming in the door.
The way that Max dealt with his illness was truly inspiring. He would talk about how he was leaving everything in God’s hands and accepted His will, whatever it was. For Max, these were not pious phrases but were said with complete sincerity. Max would talk about how he was offering up his sufferings for his family and friends. More than once he told me that he was offering his rosary that day for me. Max never complained. The last time I talked to him, I told him that I had never seen anyone deal with adversity as well as he had and that God must have a special place for him.
When I envision Max today, I imagine him as being satisfied with his life, feeling that he had accomplished what he was called to do. Still solicitous of his loved ones I see him as being concerned for their sadness but confident that things will turn out well for them, as they did for him.
Mark Travers saysJanuary 16, 2022 at 3:48 am
I was so sorry to hear the news about Max. I met him when we both worked at Kerlick, Switzer advertising, back in the early 1980s. He was talented and tenacious. I liked him. I left to start my own company and we connected again about 15 years later when I hired him for some contract work in public relations. He did an excellent job and was a friend to many at my firm. His work for us ended but we remained friends. And he stayed in frequent contact. Max was a good guy — sincere, honest and thoughtful. I’ll miss him. My condolences to his family.
Virginia Wise saysJanuary 15, 2022 at 4:53 am
I want to offer my sincere sympathy to the Kaiser family for the loss of your brother, Max.
My first meeting with Max was when I was the administrator of my godmother, Virginia Speh’s estate.
I didn’t know Max very well but the few conversations I have had with him I found him to be a very caring intelligent person. We both shared a love of history.
God bless you Max. May you rest in peace.
Anheuser-Busch Toastmasters saysJanuary 14, 2022 at 11:58 pm
Max was a member of South County Toastmasters and Anheuser-Busch Toastmasters. His fellow Toastmasters remember the good times we had with Max during club meetings and at lunch in the Anheuser-Busch cafeteria. He was an inspiration to us all with his selfless service to others and his generous spirit. He was dearly loved and is sincerely missed.
John Swallow saysJanuary 14, 2022 at 3:09 pm
I have so many fond memories of Max. When we were in Toastmasters Club Webster Groves together, we got to know each other’s thoughts and attitudes so well, we sometimes could know what the other was thinking so well, just by a subtle facial expression. Max was so into St Louis history details that at LHS, some of us thought of him as a teenager going on age 42!
We went to RiverFest ‘84 in New Orleans with Mike Morgan, also LHS Class of ‘76, arguably to this date the most in-school class of its accomplishments with high academic and sports accomplishments (among other great classes like Tom Kaiser and Mary Grace Kaiser Thompson’s). On the way down, we realized Vicksburg Civil War Battlefield was so close to Jackson, MS, where we stayed our first night that we detoured to it. Max and I were so intrigued by all the monuments that we spent the whole day! (I know now, only Gettysburg has more.)
This annoyed Mike Morgan, and it was his turn to drive, that he drove us to Natchez, not New Orleans. We had dinner at a bar on the Mississippi River. Then, at 10 pm, it was my turn to drive. As we got close to New Orleans, I noticed we were running low on gas. I was so tired, I didn’t care. I figured if we were nearing an intersection of two INTERSTATES, there would be gas stations nearby. There were. We ran out of gas. This tarred me in Mike and Max’s eyes for a few decades. What happened in New Orleans stays in New Orleans, yet we did go on to Houston to visit fellow LHS alum Brian Boeger (deceased 2003) and his bride Vangie.
Mike flew home to Chicago, Max and I drove home to StL on Labor Day. Visiting the Arkansas state Capitol in Little Rock, I signed a guest register as redneck “Billy Bob Boykin,” before Max. I still remember his amused suppressed laughing expression on reading it. We had a lot of laughs and humorous discussions like that, over many years.
Max was always helping people, homeless veterans, grieving families when he worked for a monument company, Knights of Columbus, etc., etc.
He will be really really missed! I wish I could be there tomorrow!
Dennis Kempf saysJanuary 12, 2022 at 9:51 pm
Remember the brilliant Max from Our Lady of Providence grade school. His 3rd or 4th grade teacher, recognizing his wisdom and knowledge, sent him to upper grades to share some stories of what he knew back then. And Max’s curiosity kept him learning, and sharing his wisdom, his whole life. God bless Max!
Mary Hoffmann saysJanuary 12, 2022 at 6:11 pm
RIP, dear Max. A Lindbergh classmate, and a great friend to my father, when they were roommates. Soar with the angels, Max.
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