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Joyce Funeral Home

245 Main Street
Waltham, MA 02453
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Memories & Candles

“Thank you Max for inspiring curiosity and a sense of fun to my studies at Brandeis. You prepared me well for a full career which has always been...Read More »
1 of 5 | Posted by: YON - Jan C. Hardenbergh - MA

“Max, I wonder if you remember me. I'm sure I am one of hundreds who remember you so warmly even though we only knew each other a short time, through...Read More »
2 of 5 | Posted by: bridget matros - belfast, ME

“Goodbye Max, you will be sorely missed.The times we shared at Silver Lake re precious.Your ability and pride in being able to climb to the summit of...Read More »
3 of 5 | Posted by: Allan & Ellen Schmidt - Concord, MA

“As a Brandeis graduate student in physics in the early 70's, I was invited to a departmental gathering at Max's house in Waltham. The food prepared...Read More »
4 of 5 | Posted by: Alex Prengel - Arlington, MA

“Goodbye dear Max. You were far more important to me than you ever knew. Without the love and help of you and your wife, our lives would be very...Read More »
5 of 5 | Posted by: Jeff Bragg - Sterling, VA


Waltham – Mr. Max Chretien, of Waltham, died after a long and well lived life at his home on Monday, July 1, 2019. He was 95.

Max was born in Basel, Switzerland on February 29, 1924, the son of the late Walter and Louise (Horand) Chretien. As a youngster he enjoyed visiting his grandmother and cousins in the countryside and whenever possible he spent time hiking and biking in the southern region of the Alps. Max was curious by nature and loved to gain knowledge; he spent the majority of his time studying and reading whatever he could get his hands on. When he was just 15, World War II broke out and after attending basic training he served in the Swiss Army for the last few months of the war.

On an Atlantic crossing to the U.S. in 1955 he met Dagmar Hulcrantz, of Sweden. After settling in the states the pair would be married in The First Lutheran Church of Waltham on November 15, 1958. They made Florence Road in Waltham their home where they would raise their daughter and live together for over 60 years. It was in 1956 that Max was hired as a professor at Brandeis University in Waltham. He loved working at Brandeis and over his 38 year career he witnessed and marveled at the unprecedented expansion of scientific knowledge, from the big bang theory to elementary particles to genetics.

Max lived a wonderful life and was happiest when he was with his family in the quiet setting of their cottage in New Hampshire. He loved to travel and was able to see many parts of the world but his favorite trips were back home to Basel to visit his siblings, nieces, nephews and extended family.

Besides his beloved wife, Dagmar K. (Hulcrantz) Chretien of Waltham, he leaves his daughter, Karin E. Chretien of Somerville; his sister, Ruth Müller-Chretien of Switzerland and many nieces, nephews and their families.

He was also the brother of the late Hans and Peter Chretien.

A Celebration of Max's Life will be held on Saturday, September 14th, at 2 p.m. in the Joyce Funeral Home, 245 Main Street, (Rte. 20), Waltham.