Leo Ellis AxtellDecember 11, 1927 ~ October 7, 2017 (age 89)
Leo Ellis Axtell, 89 of Nampa, Idaho left us peacefully Sat, Oct. 7 2017, after a courageous battle with COPD. Leo was born Dec. 11, 1927 in Wewela, South Dakota to George W. & Myrtle Rose Axtell. He was the youngest of 8 children. Leo graduated from Keya Paha High School in Springview, NE in 1946.
After graduation he and his sister Mary took a three day bus ride to Idaho to reunite with family that moved out ahead of them. He often said, “I can remember thinking, where the hell is Idaho?”
Leo worked several odd jobs until 1950, when he was drafted into the Army (Korean war). He spent two years in the service as a cook, stationed at Fort Ord California. He was honorably discharged to Army Reserves in 1952. He returned to Idaho where he and his brother, Arthur leased a gas station on Simplot Road in Caldwell. They ran that approx. a year when Leo decided he didn’t like working in the hot sun and enrolled in Grimm’s School of Business, Pocatello, ID and graduated 5th in his class.
Back in Nampa, Leo started work at King Packing Plant in 1956 loading trucks. He worked his way into the office and spent the next 35 years there. He saw it change to Armour & Co and retired as a purchasing manager.
He met Hazel Kurpjuweit at a dance, he would say “I didn’t know how to dance and she drug me out on the dance floor and said it’s about time you learned and we danced together for 50 years.”
Leo and Hazel were married Oct. 6th, 1956 and moved a house they’d just bought on Canyon in Nampa. Christmas of 1957 they had a daughter and June of 1959 a son. When Hazel was pregnant with their third child they decided to move to the country. They bought four acres south of Nampa and brought their second son home there in March of 1961. This was home to them, the 3 kids, calves and whatever else Hazel decided to bring home.
He retired from Armour in 1991. He worked part time for Simpson Lumber until Hazel retired in 1996. Leo and Hazel loved to travel. It could be just a weekend fishing/camping trip or trips with the family to the coast or further, they tried to go someplace special every year. After the kids moved out they really started to enjoy life, they traveled further and danced more.
Leo was a member of the Idaho Elks Lodge #1389 for 62 years. He enjoyed fishing, playing cards and road trips to anywhere. He proudly would say he’d been in all 50 states and four Provence’s of Canada.
He is survived by his most beloved sister Mary (Pricket); three children, Teresa of Boise, Larry and Richard of Nampa; six grandchildren Kenna Waggoner (Jake) and Joshua Seid both of Midvale, ID, Kayla (DJ) Razutis of Colorado Springs CO, Krista Axtell of Ontario, OR, Amanda and Rebecca Axtell of Nampa; along with 5.5 great grandchildren, Jace, Trenton, Kali, Kinley, Kade and baby Razutis; as well as many nieces, nephews and family that he loved.
He was preceded in death by his beloved Hazel (2006), parents George and Myrtle Axtell; brothers, Henry, Arthur, Dean and Gilbert (Clome S.D.); sisters Lois (Daniels), and Arlene (Brody) and many many dear friends.
He would tell you he had a good life, blessed with wonderful memories of all the travel, dances, with a wonderful family and good friends.
There will be a viewing on Wednesday Oct. 11from 5 to 7 pm and funeral services on Fri. Oct. 13 at 11 a.m. both at the Nampa Funeral Home, Yraguen Chapel. Burial will follow in the Kohlerlawn Cemetery, Nampa. The family requests in lieu of flowers a donation is made to Nampa Elks 1389 Scholarship Foundation, 1116 1st St. S., Nampa ID 83651.