Skip to Content

4-year-old Max looks up to sky to remember beloved neighbor


By KMOV Staff

Click here for updates on this story

    LADUE, Missouri (KMOV) — Max Wolkowitz, 4, is remembering his beloved neighbor nightly.

Max’s routines have included building towers, playing baseball, and waving to his neighbor, 77-year-old Bill Baldwin.

“Bill is super friendly. I would tend to call him the mayor of our street,” shared Ashley Wolkowitz, Max’s mother. “Everyone knows who he is, and they were one of the first people who came over and introduced themselves to my husband and me when we moved in.”

A decorated Vietnam veteran and retired Ladue police captain, Bill quickly cemented his place as Max’s best buddy.

Bill’s son, Brian Baldwin, recalled, “Right from the beginning, they hit it off. For whatever reason, I think they were kindred spirits.”

One of Max’s earliest words was “Bill,” a testament to the significant presence the older man held in his young life. Bill gifted Max his inaugural sled, imparted invaluable life lessons, and presented a treasured baseball signed by Ozzie Smith for his fourth birthday.

Most days are like clockwork – Max stationed at his window, and Bill at his mailbox.

“There was a designated time when Max would be at the window, and my dad would be standing on the sidewalk, and they’d wave to each other,” Brian described.

Yet, life has a tendency to disrupt even the most cherished routines. Last Monday, the unexpected news of Bill’s passing resonated through the community.

“It was very sudden and completely unexpected,” Ashley recalled with a heavy heart.

Ashley took to social media, sharing a poignant video and narrative detailing the inseparable bond between the unlikely pair. The touching depiction struck a chord, illuminating the profound significance Bill held in Max’s life.

“As cute as we thought their friendship was, I’m now realizing how important it was to Bill,” Ashley acknowledged.

Though fraught with difficulty, the Wolkowitz family navigated the task of informing Max that Bill would no longer be present across the street. The truth was revealed gently, assuring the young boy that Bill had ascended to the stars, keeping a watchful eye from above.

“He asked me the other night which one is he. I told him I didn’t know, but we could go outside the next night and pick one out for him,” Ashley recounted.

Max, with innocence and hope, is determined to continue his daily tradition in a new form.

“I can wave at Star Bill,” he proclaimed, a testament to the enduring spirit of their extraordinary friendship. In the vast expanse of the night sky, Max believes that his gestures are reciprocated, solidifying the unwavering connection that transcends earthly boundaries.

Please note: This content carries a strict local market embargo. If you share the same market as the contributor of this article, you may not use it on any platform.

Article Topic Follows: CNN - Regional

Jump to comments ↓

Author Profile Photo

CNN Newsource


KIFI Local News 8 is committed to providing a forum for civil and constructive conversation.

Please keep your comments respectful and relevant. You can review our Community Guidelines by clicking here

If you would like to share a story idea, please submit it here.

Skip to content