There’s no great way to say this, and he wouldn’t want us to make a fuss, but our father, brother, and friend, Max Bertola, passed away of natural causes on March 23 while living in Port Dickson, Malaysia.
Max was an adventurer and a loving father who spent his life teaching others. He was slightly crazy and always fun!
Max loved to travel, and he spent the last few years of his life living next to the beaches in Egypt and Malaysia. He had an endless sense of adventure, taking his children on 14 Mile hikes through Uinta mountains, 20 Mile bike rides across Southern Utah, raising rabbits, and flying around the globe. He shared his adventures through his photography and occasionally published his work in a self-published guide and website, with a signature line read “Max Bertola, The Adventure Specialist”
He was a lifelong learner and could always be found marking up the latest technical manual – sometimes while driving. In 2001, he completed his M.S. in English – Technical Writing and Professional Communications, and from 2012-2015 he was a PhD candidate in Instructional Design and Educational Technology.
He was an exuberant character, always scheming about his next adventure or business idea. Max could belt out John Denver and the 3 Tenors like nobody’s business – even if it was off key, and at 6am on a Saturday. He had an exhausting sense of humor. If his jokes weren’t funny, you couldn’t help but laugh with his laugh, and it was impossible not to be his friend.
He was a practical philosopher and gave great counsel to many. He could often be heard sharing wisdom like: “Never trust a skinny chef”, “Life’s too short to dance with ugly women” and “Tis not a wonder that a bear dances poorly, tis a wonder that the bear dances at all.”
Max was one of the hardest workers. Most of his life he juggled two or three jobs and always made sure his family had a home and food, and he selflessly sacrificed his own wishes to care for others. He spent a few years working at the prison as a Corrections Officer and Training Administrator – a convenient source of one-liners for himself and the rest of the family. During his time at the Dept. of Corrections, he founded an award winning inmate-to-inmate literacy program in addition to overseeing a reading for the blind audio recording project.
It was a running joke of his that bad salesman had skinny kids, and if you saw his kids you’d know why that was funny. Max served an LDS mission in Hamburg, Germany, and used his german language skills on many occasions. If you were at a national park and ran across a German speaker, he’d strike up a conversation and occasionally bring them home. Our door was always open, literally, and more than a few times he’d bring home stray travelers.
He always said to leave while you’re still having fun, and dammit, he was right. He lived 60 great years, and 60 out of 63 ain’t bad! Dad, we’re mad at you for leaving, You big jerk, but we’re proud to have been yours. People like him leave a big hole in the lives they touch, but we’re glad to have shared it with him. When he passes through those pearly gates, he’ll be greeted by his parents, Keith and Jean, and his grand-daughter, Alice. His surviving sister, two brothers, 9 children and 22 grand-children look forward to adventures with him again!
There will be no formal services. In his own words: “I do not wish to have a funeral. I’ve always hated them and do not wish to even attend my own.”
Instead, Join us in celebrating his life and legacy by sharing memories and photos on his facebook page. Yah-ta-hey, and “God bless the internet!”
Max Kay Bertola
June 4th,1955 – March 23rd, 2018
Love and prayers from Austin and Tori Williams family. Crazy difficult time I’m sure. May Heavenly Father comfort you in the way only he can. We love you!
Thank you for sharing your memories of your dad. You painted a brilliant picture of him. What will our planet be like without Max Bertola!
In the last year of Max’s life he worked at UCSI International School in Port Dickson, Malaysia, and I was privileged to have been one of his colleagues. He called me “Boss” but he always just felt like a friend. He was one of the most loving, cheerful, kind-hearted people that I’ve ever known. He always made me laugh and cheered me up, and his love of life was infectious.
Thanks to his family for sharing all that you have to tell us more about his life. His last year of life was lived as fully, and he touched us all at the school in ways we are still realizing. He was a jokester and a lover-of-life, but he knew how to listen well and take care of his responsibilities in ways that made him an extraordinary teacher and human being. I am so grateful to have been his friend this year.
Max, I will not ever forget your loving-kindness.
Sending love to a great family!
It’s the morning of Saturday, 24th March 2018 and my phone made a notification sound because it looked like I received a message from my friend who I did not talk to for long time via the Facebook messenger. “Hello Saleh! Did you know what happened to our friend Max Bertola?”, that what he said. Max passed away of natural causes yesterday. I knew that when my friend dropped me another message saying that he wants to call me right now.
I lost one of the most kindest person I have ever met in my life. I did not want want to say a lot to Max before he goes. I just wanted to say THANK YOU Max for teaching me English, Yes, that’s true, Max worked hard with me during 4 years to help me learning English while I was working with him. He trusted me, he supported me and asked me to stop working for him when I got a job offer from Amazon and said, go to Amazon, you will learn a lot, it’s really great opportunity for you. He kept checking on me everyday till he knew that it’s my first working day in Amazon. THANK YOU Max. I did not want want to say a lot to Max before he goes. I just wanted to get the chance to say Good-bye. I wanted to say sorry because I did not talk with you for awhile, my dear friend. Please forgive me.
I’m sending my love to his great family, the family that he had introduced me to all of them one by one. I wish I could see Max before he goes away from us, I wish I could have one last dinner with him to tell him a lot about my life and listen to him. I’m sure he had a lot of things he wanted to tell me, I’m sure because he used to share everything with me. God bless you Max.
He told me you are woman…why u always act like men
He told my son ..you have a great mother…u mustn’t make she cry
I ll always remember him..
He was a great man and friend
Max was my colleague and I can never forget his smiling face. Whenever we met he use to greet me with a big smile on his face and ask me “How r u?” He will be in our prayers and may his soul rest in peace. May god give strength to his family in this hour pf grief.
I really miss you very much We will miss you You are not only a friend You are a teacher in life Before scientific life I could not bear the news And I washed my eyes Tears of the most people who helped me in my life We accept this news with full sadness and sorrow … Rest in peace my friend
I haven’t been able to stop thinking about Max the last few days, but mostly that face full of light, his infections smile, and someone I knew would be a true friend forever, I just never fathomed forever could be such a short period of time…
The day before he died I can still see him looking up at me from his bed eating friend bananas which are so popular here, a local food that every Malaysian eats. I had declined and said of course I’ve tried them, but just the look and wonder on his face while stating, “I just love these, they’re amazing!” It was like watching a small child who just gets a super cool and amazing new toy, and I remember just taking a moment to watch him in his joy because when Max smiled of course I would always have to smile along with him. I’ll miss you Max and you will always be in my heart. It has been more than 20 since I have she’d a tear over someone I loved. Thank you for showing me what type of person people can still be, giving me the substance I needed to realize I am already the person I need to be, and when it’s my turn to go I truly hope you’ll put in a good word for me and be there to take my hand as I cross over to the next big adventure that you have already begun.
Mr. Max is my Greatest teacher ever…
I was very sad since I heard he passed away…
Too sad,, That I can`t see a skinny nice smile guy every morning…
We love you. Rest in Peace…
I only met Max a few times. But he filled a room with his personality. He was a man of action. He had a free and entrepreneurial spirit. Undoubtedly his children will benefit from his can-do and adventurous approach to life.
Max and I share some grandchildren. They have that same sense of adventure and love for life that seems to exude from the Max Bertola side of the universe. They sure are fun!
Max thank you for all you did for others.
Max was my first client, on freelancer.com. when I talked with him first time. We become close friend. We used to chat everyday. He used to ask HOW R YOU MY FRIEND. Just 2 week back we had a call and talked about our projects. Wen I saw the email about Max, I felt very sad hearing the news.
Good by MAX, I miss you…. My your soul rest in peas
I spent a lot of time in my earlier years with Max. He was a family friend in those years. I’ll cherish the innocence of those times.
Rest in Peace Max. May the good live on behind you and the evil be interred with your bones.
Really missing you LEADER
It was such a pleasure to meet someone like you
It was the best working year in my career
The most lovely.. Kind.. Respectful.. Supportive leader
Love you & miss you
May your soul rest in heaven dear