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Max Appel, 1932-2024

Long before Max Appel’s material success as an entrepreneur and inventor, he was committed to making the world a better place. After he finished grad school at Boston University, Appel worked as a fundraiser for UJA, National Jewish, St. Jude’s Children Hospital, the Sierra Club and the National Wildlife Foundation. This work set the stage for Appel’s future as compassionate philanthropist.

Appel built that future through his family and business enterprises, together with his wife Elaine, his life partner and business partner. They grew their fledgling furniture wax Orange Glo and other cleaning products into an international multi-million-dollar corporation, which they sold in 2006.

The Appels continued to live rather modestly and used their profits to build such organizations as Jewish Family Service of Colorado, Temple Sinai, Yeshiva Toras Chaim and, perhaps most notably, Clinica Tepeyac. Located in northwest Denver, Clinica Tepeyac provides medical and behavioral health services to low-income residents, many of whom are immigrants.

Max Appel’s compassion sprung from his own roots as the son of immigrants on Denver’s West Side who struggled financially. He once told the IJN:

“As Jews, the immigrant experience is something that speaks to us in a very personal way. Jews have always endured great hardship and we are commanded to help others who cannot help themselves.”

Max Appel passed away Jan. 27, 2024, leaving a legacy of hard work, an entrepreneurial spirit, a loving marriage and family and a commitment to helping others.

“By our heritage as Jews, we owe it,” he said. As a community, we owe Max Appel, already sorely missed.

Copyright © 2024 by the Intermountain Jewish News

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