Obit: Axelson, Helen Gertrude (1908 - 2010)
Contact: Dolores Mohr Kenyon
Surnames: Axelson, Hendrickson,
Turnquist, Felix, Burgher, Tell, Bertz, Blomberg
----Source: Clark County Press (Neillsville, Clark Co., WI.) March 3, 2010
Axelson, Helen Gertrude (26 September
1908 - 24 February 2010)
Helen G. Axelson, 101, of Loyal died
Wednesday, Feb. 24, 2010, at her home.
Helen Gertrude Turnquist was born Sept.
25, 1908, on a farm south of Green wood. Helen was the first
of four daughters born to Adolph and Julia (Hendrickson)
Turnquist. Helen attended elementary classes at
Christopherson School, a one-room country schoolhouse in rural
Greenwood. She graduated from Greenwood High School in
1925. Notably, this past May, Helen celebrated the
84th anniversary of her high school graduation at the
Greenwood Alumni Banquet. Helen completed her formal
education in 1927, a graduate of the Stevens Point Normal Business
College, the school now known as the University of Wisconsin
In September of 1927, Helen moved to
Chicago to seek work. She often told amazed listeners, upon
her arrival in Chicago, there was only one traffic light, at the
corner of Chicago and Michigan Avenue; all of the other
intersections were controlled by arterial stop signs.
Helen began work Oct. 10, 1927, at
Builder’s and Manufacturer’s Insurance Company. The
Great Depression came in 1929, and like thousands of others, Helen
was laid off in 1930. Unlike others, Helen was fortunate
enough to meet an old acquaintance from Greenwood, who had since
moved to Chicago, and through his recommendation, Helen began work
at the first of two housekeeping jobs that would see her through
until the financial cloud lifted. The acquaintance,
coincidentally, was the doctor who had delivered her back in
Greenwood in 1908. Helen worked for the Fellows family for
the next two years. She sent money home to help her family,
regardless of what type of employment she had.
Helen married Erick Axelson Oct. 20,
1934. Between 1934 and 1941, Helen’s housekeeping was limited
to that done around her own home. In 1941, she took work
outside the home at a perfume factory and continued there until the
United States became involved in WWII. In 1942, as many of
her male counterparts went off to war, Helen went to work for the
Army Signal Corporation as a tractor lift operator. These
were the days of "Rosie the Riveter" and now "Helen the Lift
Operator." Helen’s husband Erick returned home from the
service in January of 1946.
After the war, she ran her own school
store on Chicago’s south side. Following this, she put her
business skills to good use for 11 years as a bookkeeper and
cashier for Lauder Brothers Ford. Also, during her years in
Chicago, she worked as a secretary for Chicago Osteopathic Hospital
and later for Merchants Matrix until her retirement in 1973.
While in Chicago, Helen and Erick sold Amway products for a number
In 1973, Helen and Erick moved to
Loyal. Helen had been active in the VFW in Chicago, and upon
her return to Wisconsin, she joined the Loyal American Legion
Auxiliary. She also enjoyed participation in the Homemakers Club,
the Garden Club and many church activities, including making quilts
to be sent overseas to people in need. Helen was also a
member of the Greenwood High School Alumni Association.
Helen has always valued family and has
been actively involved in the lives of her sister, Verdelle Felix;
her nieces and nephews, Paula Burgher and William Tell, daughter
and son of Vera Tell; Douglas, Bruce and James Felix, sons of
Verdelle Felix; and her great nieces and nephews, Emmie, Karl and
She was preceded in death by her parents;
her husband Erick, April 2, 1986; and two sisters, Ruth Bertz in
1997 and Vera Tell in 2006.
Over her 100 years on this earth, Helen
has witnessed many changes and touched the lives of countless
people. Her faith, commitment to family and friends, strong
work ethnic and devotion to service are recognized by all who have
been blessed to know her.
Funeral services were held at 11 a.m.
Monday, March 1, 2010, at Our Savior’s Lutheran Church in
Greenwood. Rev. Terri Blomberg officiated and burial followed in
the Greenwood City Cemetery. Visitation was held at the
church Monday, from 10 a.m. until the time of service.
In lieu of flowers, memorials may be
given to Our Savior’s Lutheran Church of Greenwood or the VFW
- National Children’s home at 3573 S. Waverly Road, Eaton
Rapids, MI 48827.
Online condolences may be expressed at
Cuddie Funeral Home of Loyal assisted the family with arrangements.
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