Max Close And Alejandro Mercado Memorial - Stories And Photos

Max carrying Alejandro on Graduation Day

Max’s and Alejandro's Parents Thank The Lakewood Community

By Johany Mercado and Brock Close

At this time the Mercado family would like to join with the Close family to thank the Lakewood community, schools, teachers, friends, family and strangers for your support, prayers and donations. Words are not enough to describe how thankful and proud we are to be residents of this awesome community.

Lakewood Mourns The Loss Of Two Of Our Children

By Betsy Voinovich

On Sunday, February 21 2021, Lakewood lost two of its children in a car accident. Max Close and Alejandro Mercado were both 19 years old, and Lakewood High School graduates from the class of 2020. A joint funeral was held Monday March 1st with both families, including a public webcast of the service to accommodate the many famiies who wanted to honor the memory of the boys and pay their respects to the families. GoFundMe pages can be found here for Alejandro:
 and here for Max:
Memorial contributions may be forwarded to the Cuyahoga County Animal Shelter, 9500 Sweet Valley Drive, Valley View OH 44125.

Close And Mercado Memorial And Scholarship

by Brian Siftar, Lakewood Schools

In the early morning of February 22, Lakewood High School tragically lost two of our Class of 2020 graduates. As the parents, families and community continue to grieve the loss of Max Close and Alejandro Mercado, Lakewood High School and the West Shore Career-Technical District have been planning a tribute to our former students whose lives tragically were cut too short.
     With the support of many, we plan to create a living memorial at LHS with benches and trees in remembrance of Max and Alejandro. Additionally, a scholarship in their names will be awarded in conjunction with the Lakewood Council of PTAs and the Project Lead the Way Engineering Program.
For those wishing to make a donation to the scholarship fund, please make your check out to Lakewood High School and send to 14100 Franklin Blvd. Lakewood, OH 44107. You can also donate by credit card by calling 216-529-4047.
Our thoughts continue to be with the families and friends of Max and Alejandro.

Alejandro, Our Shining Star

by Johany Mercado

On February 8th, 2002 we welcomed our firstborn son Alejandro Ramon Mercado. He is and will always be our shining star. He is the oldest brother to Antonio and Alfonso. Alejandro enjoyed and loved to spend time with friends and family. He enjoyed trying all kinds of new foods especially if it was spicy. He enjoyed his grandmother and mom’s cooking. He was willing to try anything and appreciated everything. Gratitude is his legacy. Building others up is how he expressed that gratitude. He was proud of his family and friends. He never held grudges and friends describe him as the mediator, the rock, setting a example of forgiveness as he would point out the good in people. This was the kind of engineer he hoped to be, someone who sees a challenging situation and has an idea for a solution. Alejandro wanted to help and focused on ways to develop resources and assistance to underserved populations. He had a vision of improvements to basic infrastructure that would upgrade living conditions as well as the quality of life for folks globally. We will continue to carry his dreams and goals.

Max, The Kindest Silliest Guy

by Brock Close

Max was the kindest silliest guy I knew. I loved hanging out with him, he was an amazing son and one of my best friends. I am so proud of him. I will miss our projects, games, road trips, and most of all his happy go lucky way of approaching life. He brought so much happiness and joy to the world. His legacy of kindness will live on in us forever.
    Max, I love you buddy. I know you and Hondro are out there having a blast in the great beyond. Take care of each other and know that I love you so much.

Memories Of Max And Alejandro

By Joseph Kelly

Alejandro was a close friend of mine. He was a quick witted and intelligent guy with a good heart. He was also kind of a pistol too. I would always laugh and laugh after he tore into someone in an online game and then proceed to politely ask how I was doing. He was always up to being with me and other people. We would always play games or watch tv as one big group. He had always had something clever to say whatever the situation. If it were in person or over the internet, I could always expect a good time to be had if he were around.
     Max was a man with a great sense of humor. If I could pick a word to describe him it would be “class clown”. He would always wear these silly matching sweatshirts and pants every Friday. I know he took pleasure in making us laugh. He also had this little voice he would do sometimes that always cracked me up. His voice would get low, and he would say something like “oooooooOOOOOOOOoooh”, or “mmmmmmhhh yeah”. I know that sounds a bit silly but if you knew him personally, you would know exactly what I am talking about.
     They were two of the best guys I ever knew. They never did anything wrong to me and they always treated me with respect from the beginning. I keep telling myself that I have gotten over it and moved on. However, whenever I stop and realize that they are never going to talk to me again a little part of me dies inside. I hope that all the people who read this treasure life. It is not worth losing loved ones over something like an argument because they can be taken away from you so easily. It is important to always be nice to others, it’s even more important to respect life. Never assume it is okay to do something you know is dangerous to others or yourself. Thank you for reading, have a nice day.

Pirate Rides And Cookies With Max And Rylan

By Donna Close (Grandma)

Max was a generous, loving, hilarious grandson who made everything fun!! One especially fond memory I have of him was when we were baking Christmas cookies at my house.  Max and his brother, Rylan, were rolling out the dough and cutting it with my Christmas cutters.  I was encouraging them to put them close together so as not to waste dough.  Suddenly Max yelled, ”Hey! My reindeer is kicking Rylan’s gingerbread man in the head!”  We chuckled about that.  Then it became a goal to make the shapes close together and Max made up a story to go with each interaction between the cookies.  Soon Rylan, Max and I were wiping the tears from our eyes from laughing so hard at his stories!!
    Another time the boys and I were spending time at our family cottage in Lakeside, Ohio.  The boys went swimming with an inflatable raft and began calling out, “Pirate rides!  Anybody want a pirate ride?”  Soon there was a line of children waiting on the dock for a pirate ride and a pirate battle ensued.  So Max and Rylan  entertained the entire group of kids swimming in the lake at that time.  This was typical of Max because he never met a stranger.  Everyone was a new friend! So big was his personality that he drew people to him!

 From his proud Grandma Close.

Sweet Angel Alejandro

by Aunt Johanna Mercado

Words fall short in describing Alejandro and how much he means to me and to everyone who knows him. I will forever miss his smile and glint in his eyes that always greeted me and everyone he loved. I'm so grateful and proud to have such an amazing young man as my nephew.  Alejandro's absence will never go unnoticed.  I love you forever, my sweet angel Alejandro.

Tribute to Alejandro and Max

By Anthony Kocinski

I first met Alejandro and Max in freshman year of Highschool. We shared the same IT class, and I sat next to Alejandro. I later met Max in my English class soon after. In both cases, we hit it off right from the start. As I ended up growing apart from my middle school friends, these two helped quickly fill that void. Not to mention the whole group of people of which would help me grow, and become the person I am today.    
   Alejandro and Max were two bright minds with large plans for the world. Their happiness and laughter were the most contagious thing known to man. Whenever they were around, I couldn't help but smile and laugh along with them. They both had a very distinct and different sense of humor that worked well together. This world has grown much darker since that day they left us.

Memories Of Jandro

by Lila and Jose Vazquez – great aunt and uncle from Chicago

Alejandro(Jandro) will always live in our hearts and his laughter will remind us of his happiness on earth as will be in heaven.
The family and Jandro--7 years old-- came to visit us in Chicago. Jandro was unstoppable; he visited The Field Museum, The Shedd Aquarium, and The Adler Planetarium in one day! I remember when he said, I’m
hungry! and eating like a man.
There are many special things we can share about our great nephew. It brings us warmth to remember Jandro’s special greeting with a smile and saying, Hey, What’s up? Gave hugs to everyone and with his gentle ways would sit around family and enjoyed being together. He sure enjoyed his family, friends, and FOOD.
    Although H.S. graduation was different due to the pandemic, Jandro was excited and the family was proud of his accomplishments. It was awesome to see Jandro become so mature, grounded, and, enthusiastic about his studies in Engineering at Toledo University.
Jandro would talk with his uncle and cousin about the needs in the world for access and advancement with infrastructure. Jandro was kind and respectful to everyone and would strive to always be at his best.
    We had him in our life for too short, but the memories are treasured and everlasting.

Alejandro Is The Best

by Alfonso Mercado, Alejandro's youngest brother

Alejandro is and will be the best. When I Grow up I want to be like him and help others. I love him and miss him very much.

Max, Funniest Guy I Ever Knew by Joseph Kelly

By Joseph Kelly

Max was the funniest guy I've ever known and he not once showed me anger or disdain. I remember whenever we would talk he would say something in a funny voice he always did. I loved him like a brother.

My Friend Alejandro

By Kyle, a friend

Alejandro was among the most humble, honest, selfless and respectable people that I have come to call a Brother in my 18 years on this planet. He had the uncanny ability to make you laugh even on your worst days, even if it was his worst day. He had the ability to find the good in all things and all people. Alejandro never allowed anything to slow him down. Alejandro was a binding force of our group and would always find a diplomatic solution to all problems. I will celebrate Alejandro’s life at every opportunity because I know he would have done the same for anyone he held close.

From Alejandro's Friend Jason

By Jason, a friend

Alejandro was a very close friend to me, he made me feel like I was wanted by others outside of my family. He would take the time out of his day to hear anyone talk about anything or to play video games with us. He was special to me that he felt like a second brother to me. He would stay up late at night to talk to me about problems I had, and he would give me suggestions on how I could fix said problems. He was a caring person, he never really showed hate towards anyone, even if they did poor things to him. He never really meant it when he said he hated someone. Another thing I found special about him was how genuine he was to everyone, something that is hard to find in a lot of people.

From Grandpa To The Max

By Bob Close

Thanks for making this tribute available to the entire Lakewood community.
    It would seem to me that it would be hard to find a stronger friendship between to young men. Their likes and interests were similar as were their senses of humor. Max befriended all and equally was considered a friend by all.
He will be missed for all of time.
--Bob Close, 
Grandpa to the Max

Alejandro and Anastasia

By Anastasia Alvelo

Hello this is Anastasia Alvelo writing for Alejandro, I am his cousin.
    In life we learn, but I believe in death we teach. Alejandro doesn’t know but he has taught me lessons that I will keep with me forever. Alejandro was my cousin and will always be family. Being  a year apart we grew up together. He was always my best friend and I did not realize what I had when I had it. We will never forget him and we have so many memories together. I miss him so much already. I had so much that I wanted to talk to him about. I watched all the star wars and marvel movies and I couldn’t wait to tell him and talk to him about it. Christmas eve was my favorite with him. We always sat together when we opened presents, every single year. I miss him more and more everyday. I also love him more and more too. I love you Alejandro, and I can’t wait to see you again one day.

Antonio's Memories Of His Brother

By Antonio Mercado, Middle Brother

Alejandro was a person that was very understanding. When you needed him, he was always there for you. When I was in the hospital he always made sure that I was getting better and doing ok when he would come to see me. I share a lot of interests with my brother and that made me feel good and happy. I felt safe around him and I was able to be open around him. He was a very awesome person. I can’t think of anything that he did to make me feel bad. I feel closer to him and he will be watching over me for ever. Love you, Jando. You are the best always.


Alejandro's Aunt

Feb 8, 2002 was the first day I meet Alejandro, welcoming him to this world with the whole family at the hospital. I was overjoyed to become his aunt-- my sister's first born and my first nephew. Alejandro was a wonderful boy, words can’t describe how proud I was of him-- how educated and wonderful he was.  I was so privileged to be part of his life and see him become a gifted man. He always told me that helping family was the most important thing in his life and he wanted his nieces and nephew to look up to him and he would always be here for them. I can still hear him in my head talking about how he wanted to change this world for the better. His life was taken too soon and to speak about him breaks our heart to know that we will never get to see him smile, graduate, our hug.

Alejandro's and Max's family and friends

Publisher, Lakewood Observer, Inc.

Read More on Max Close and Alejandro Mercado
Volume 17, Issue 8, Posted 10:11 AM, 04.08.2021