Cover photo for Maxwell Forrest Creighton's Obituary
Maxwell Forrest Creighton Profile Photo
1944 Maxwell 2020

Maxwell Forrest Creighton

September 20, 1944 — November 7, 2020

Maxwell (Max) Forrest Creighton of Atlanta, Georgia died on November 7,2020. He leaves his wife Susan Jamieson of Atlanta, GA; his daughter Emily Creighton and son-in-law David Field of Takoma Park, MD; and his son Mathew Creighton and daughter-in-law Yasha Butler of Avoca, County Wicklow, Ireland. He also leaves his grandchildren Theodore Jamieson Field, Sebastian Creighton Field and Atesh Butler Creighton.

Max was born in St. Paul, Minnesota on September 20, 1944 to the late Marie-Louise and William Forman Creighton. During the first few years of Max's life, his father was abroad, serving as a navy chaplain in Europe during World War II. Max was the youngest of three boys—brother to Michael and William Creighton—and grew up in Chevy Chase, MD. For much of that time, his father served as the Bishop of the Episcopal Diocese of Washington. Max was proud of his father’s faith-based role in the civil rights movement and the pressure he placed on the church to ordain women. He also greatly admired his mother, a life-long supporter of the Democratic party, and enjoyed a long friendship with her after the death of his father.

Max was guided by a desire to confront inequality and injustice. In 1968, after college, he joined the Peace Corps in Brazil where he helped establish a fishing cooperative in Pecen, Fortaleza. In Brazil, he met his future wife, Susan, a fellow Peace Corps volunteer who remembers Max as an effective community organizer and very handsome. They connected again seven years later and married. Max received a graduate degree in city planning at Georgia Tech and Susan received her law degree at Rutgers Law School, Newark. After graduate school, they spent some time in Florida and North Carolina conducting outreach and providing legal services to low-income communities.

Max’s career as a city planner brought his family to Atlanta, where he helped establish the Community Design Center of Atlanta (CDCA) and served as its Executive Director from 1984 to 2007. He believed that people should participate directly in decisions that impact their communities. Through urban planning, architecture, and economic and fiscal analysis, the CDCA offered key services to community-based nonprofit organizations, lower-income neighborhoods, homeless shelters, and social service providers. Max was an inclusive director and benefitted from a board with a majority of members representing low-income and minority communities. He worked with students and faculty at Georgia State and Georgia Tech, where he occasionally taught in the City Planning Program. His work was instrumental in the creation of the Atlanta Fulton County Land Bank Authority and helped foster similar institutions that created affordable housing and promoted economic development across Georgia. Max was a steadfast and ardent advocate for social, economic and racial justice in every aspect of his work.

Max was proud of his children, the careers they chose and their families. His son Mat is a sociology professor at University College Dublin in Ireland. His daughter Emily is an immigrant rights attorney at the American Immigration Council. Max was a committed and proud supporter of Sue in her career as a legal advocate for disability rights at Atlanta Legal Aid Society.
Max truly loved spending time on the water. He rowed crew as an undergraduate for American University and, later in life, sailed throughout Georgia’s barrier islands, the Penobscot Bay, the Florida coast and the Virgin Islands. Max also loved tennis and maintained a wicked serve, schooling older folks in round-robins around the metro Atlanta area. In the Creighton tradition, he was known to carry around a suitcase of paints and brushes and would occasionally capture the natural world in a quick watercolor or a sketch.

Max and Sue were travelling partners, returning more than once to Brazil and exploring other parts of South America, Africa, India and Europe. Avid campers, they raised Mat and Emily to appreciate the beauty of the beaches of North Florida and many state and national parks throughout the United States. Max approached life with an understated sense of humor. He has left his friends and family with a powerful example of a person committed to the well-being of others who was grateful for the multitude of blessings in his own life.

A virtual service in the memorial garden at the Episcopal Church of the Epiphany will take place at 11 am on November 21, 2020. For details about the virtual service, please contact his son, Mathew Creighton at In lieu of flowers, please send donations to Welcome House,

To order memorial trees or send flowers to the family in memory of Maxwell Forrest Creighton, please visit our flower store.

Service Schedule

Past Services

Cremation: No Service with Viewing

Thursday, November 12, 2020

Starts at 11:00 am (Eastern time)

Cremation AST VISITATION No Service

2773 North Decatur Road, Decatur, GA 30033

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