Waterloo mourns after 17-year-old student unexpectedly dies

Max Paul, 17, of Waterloo, IL
Max Paul, 17, of Waterloo, IL

A 17-year-old honors student from Waterloo died unexpectedly Tuesday at St. Louis Children’s Hospital.

Max Paul was a senior at Waterloo High School. He had a 4.5 GPA and planned to study mechanical engineering at the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign, according to an obituary.

On Wednesday, grief counselors were on hand and students started writing messages on a banner that the art class hung in a hallway at the school, according to Waterloo District 5 Superintendent Brian Charron. He said the banner will eventually be delivered to Max’s mom, who has worked as a paraprofessional at the high school for the last several years.

“Max had a profound impact on the lives of all who knew him,” Charron said. “He was a friend to everyone.”

His involvement in school groups spanned the Ping Pong Club and Math Team. The obituary states that Max also liked to swim, fish, hunt, play poker and go to the movies with friends.

Max is survived by his parents and two sisters.

A visitation is scheduled for 3-8 p.m. Friday at Quernheim Funeral Home in Waterloo. Funeral services will be at 10 a.m. Saturday at the funeral home.

Memorials can be made to the Muscular Dystrophy Association or to St. Louis Children’s Hospital Heart Center.

The Monroe County Independent’s obituary for Max stated that he died from an extended illness. Max had muscular dystrophy, which causes people to lose muscle mass, according to the Mayo Clinic.

Lexi Cortes: 618-239-2528, @lexicortes