Maxfield Aaron Shacknai was born on June 7th, 2005 in Paradise Valley, Arizona. He was the only son of Dr. Dina (Romano) Shacknai. At the time of Max’s death, Dina was a Child Psychologist in nearby Scottsdale, Arizona. Dina’s former husband, Jonah Shacknai, the Founder and CEO of Phoenix-based Medicis Pharmaceutical Corporation, also has two teenage children from a previous marriage; Gabrielle and Ethan. Max’s parents separated in 2008, and Max’s time was subsequently split between both parents’ Paradise Valley homes and their summer residences in Coronado, California.
Max’s short but beautiful life was deeply invested in his community; including family, friends, school activities and sports participation.
Max always loved to play sports. He began participating in a local competitive soccer program at the age of three and was considered by his Coaches and teammates to be a “natural athlete.” Max would fearlessly compete with players significantly older than he was and he always enjoyed practicing soccer techniques with his older half-brother whenever possible.
Max attended Pre-K and Kindergarten classes at Phoenix Country Day School in Paradise Valley, where he was a good student and very well-liked. He was very excited about the prospect of soon entering first grade at PCDS.
Sadly, Maxie never got that chance. He died tragically on July 16, 2011 as a result of highly-suspicious traumatic injuries he sustained five days earlier inside his father’s Coronado residence.