Obit: Axelson, Helen (1908-2010)


Contact: Audrey Roedl



Surnames: Axelson, Turnquist, , Hendrickson


----Source: The Loyal TRG (Loyal, Clark County, Wis. 03 March 2010)


Axelson, Helen (26 SEPT 1908-24 FEB 2010)


Helen G. Axelson, 101, Loyal, died on Wednesday, Feb. 24, 2010, at her home. Funeral services were held at 11 a.m., on Monday, March 1, at Our Savior’s Lutheran Church, Greenwood, The Rev. Terri Blomberg officiated. Burial followed in the Greenwood City Cemetery.


Helen Gertrude Turnquist was born on Sept. 26, 1908, on a farm south of Greenwood. She was the first of four daughters born to Adolph and Julia (nee Hendrickson) Turnquist. She 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, she celebrated the 84th anniversary of her high school graduation at the Greenwood Alumni Banquet. She completed her formal education in 1927, as a graduate of the Stevens Point Normal Business College, the school now known as the University of Wisconsin-Stevens Point.


In September 1927, she moved to Chicago to seek work. She often told amazed listeners, that upon her arrival in Chicago, there was only one traffic light, at the corner of Chicago and Michigan avenues, all of the other intersections were controlled by arterial stop signs.


On Oct. 10, 1927, she began work at Builder’s and Manufacturer’s Insurance Company. The Great Depression came in 1929, and like thousands of others, she was laid off in 1930. Unlike others, she was fortunate enough to meet an old acquaintance from Greenwood, who had since moved to Chicago, and through his recommendation, she 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. She 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.


She married Erisk Axelson on Oct. 20, 1934 and 1941, her 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 World War ll. In 1942, as many of her male counterparts went off to war, she 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," Her husband, Erick, returned home from the service in January 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, she and her husband sold Amway products for a number of years.


In 1973, they moved to Loyal. She 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 makinf quilts to be sent overseas to people in need. She was also a member of the Greenwood High School Alumni Association.


Over her 100 years on this earth, she had witnessed many changes and touched the lives of countless people. Her faith, commitment to family and friends, strong work ethic, and devotion to service, are recognized by all who have been blessed to know her.


She 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, and Douglas, Bruce and James Felix, sons of Verdelle; and her great-nieces and great-nephew. Emmie, Karl and Nicole.


She was preceded in death by her patents; her husband, Erick, on April 2, 1985; and two sisters, Ruth Bertz in 1997, and Vera Tell in 2006.


Memorials may be given to Our Savior’s Lutheran Church, Greenwood, or the VFW-National Children’s Home at 3573 S. Waverly Rd., Eaton Rapids, MI 48827.


Online condolences may be expressed at


Cuddie Funeral Home, Loyal assisted the family with arrangements.



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