Donald Andrew Axelson was born December 12, 1928, in Northfield, Minnesota, to John and Elna (Youngberg) Axelson. He was baptized and confirmed at the Northfield Methodist Church, graduated from Northfield High School in 1946, and attended the Minnesota School of Business. In 1951 he joined the US Army and served in the Korean Conflict. Following his honorable discharge in 1953, he returned to Northfield and worked at Donaldson’s in Minneapolis and Skeffington’s in Northfield. On October 8, 1955, Don was united in marriage to Betty Jo Johnson at Lebanon Lutheran Church in Minneapolis. In 1957, Don and Betty Jo returned to Northfield. Don worked at The Hub, Perman’s, and for many years owned and operated Axelson’s on the Square. In 1977, he began a new career as a realtor. He worked for Realty World and with Larry Defries until retiring in 2002.
Don was a member of the United Methodist Church and a former member the Northfield Lions Club and Northfield Chamber. He enjoyed wood working, golf, crypto quips and word puzzles, the Vikings, Gopher sports and spending time with his wife, family and friends. Don was a quiet, humble and kind man whose quick wit and warm nature made him well liked by those he knew.
Survivors include his wife of 57 years, Betty Jo; 3 children: Debra Blumer of Eagan, Laurie and husband Dave Amundson of Bloomington, Jay and wife Cheryl of Newport Beach, California; 7 grandchildren: Melissa and Ryan Willy and their children Sarah and Nicholas, Heather and Rick DeGree (and their child to be), Emily and Erik Amundson, Grace, Sophia and Ava Axelson; one sister, Janet (Tom) Pritchard of Northfield; 2 brothers: Tom (Adelaide) of Edina, Norman (Arlene) of Bloomington; 3 sisters-in-law: Bobbi Axelson of Bloomington, Carol Axelson of Chicago, Judy Johnson of West St. Paul; nieces, nephews, other relatives and friends. He was preceded in death by his parents, his brothers Lawrence and Jim, his brother-in-law Dick Johnson, and beloved nephew Steve Johnson.
After 14 months of love, care and comforted provided by the staff of the Northfield Retirement Community, Don passed away Tuesday morning, January 29, 2013, in the care center, at the age of 84.
A celebration of Don’s life will be held at 11:00AM Saturday, February 2, 2013, at the United Methodist Church in Northfield with Rev. Marty Raths officiating. Music will be provided by Carmen, Kimberly and Anna Jo Skwira, Bob Henstein, Rev. Janet White. A lunch reception will follow. Interment with military honors will be in Oaklawn Cemetery. Honorary pall bearers are Don’s loving grandchildren. Visitation will be at the church on Saturday one hour prior to the service.
Arrangements are with the Benson & Langehough Funeral Home. www.northfieldfuneral.com