Mr. Michael “Mike” Axelson, beloved brother, uncle and good friend to so many, passed away peacefully on Sunday evening, December 20th, at his home at The Springs of Butte, surrounded by his family.
Mike was born on January 17th, 1942 to Arlo and Wilda (Parker) Axelson and attended local schools including the Washington Grade School.
He began working for his parents at Richards Funeral Home on Montana Street and held a variety of other occupations throughout his life, but his longest held and favorite was as a client at BSW on Wyoming Street. He looked forward to going to work each day, so that he could spend time working with his much cherished BSW family.
Mike was a genuine and kind-hearted person who loved being around people, and never met a stranger. He had an uncanny ability to recall details about when and where he’d met someone, and often could remember the weather or the day of the week at the time they’d met. It didn’t matter if Mike saw someone last week or many years ago, he always greeted people with a smile and called them by name. He enjoyed listening to the Metropolitan Opera on Saturday afternoon, reading the paper from page to page and reporting the news to his friends and family every day. He loved reading history books, traveling to see family and friends, going on picnics or other adventures, and never sat down to a meal he didn’t enjoy.
His gregarious nature led him to membership in many organizations over the years including Sunrise Kiwanis, The Butte Pioneers Club and United Commercial Travelers. However, a true cornerstone of his life was being a member of Butte Elks Lodge #240 B.P.O.E. which he joined on June 27th, 1963, just months after his 21st birthday. Mike was a faithful and dedicated member for nearly 60 years. He served the lodge in many capacities but principally in the office of Inner Guard. In recognition of his many years of loyal service, he was named Elk of The Year for 1980-1981 and Officer of The Year for 2004-2005. These were some of the proudest moments of his life, along with being able to see his two nephews become members of the lodge, which was something he had talked about and looked forward to since the day they were born.
In addition to his parents, he was preceded in death by his stepfather: Wilford Bell, uncles and aunts: Bob and Della Axelson, Fred and Ida Root, Ione Parker, Mel and Marcella Parker, John and Carlene Parker and by his cousins: Fred Root Jr., Marlene Walborn and Budge Parker.
Mike is survived by brothers and sisters in law: Steve and Lorie Axelson and Jim and Janet Axelson (Mike’s “other mother”/advocate and caregiver for many years) all of Butte; nephews and their wives: Cameron and Serena Axelson and Adam and Lynae Axelson all of Belgrade and great nephews and great niece: Brayden Axelson, Parker Axelson and Allison Axelson.
Also surviving are cousins: Carol Costello, Doug and Michelle Axelson, Patricia Goff, Jack Parker, Barbara Eyer and Sharon Parker as well as countless friends that all held a special place in Mike’s loving heart.
The family wishes to thank Dr. Kaufman for all his years of dedicated care and concern for Mike, Dr. Flowers and Elevation Dental, the incredible staff at The Springs of Butte for making such a wonderful home for Mike, Frontier Hospice for their compassionate end of life care, and to Bri Mulvaney of Axelson Funeral and Cremation Service for her expertise in presenting Mike just as he’d looked in the prime of his life.
His ashes will be interred with his parents in Mount Moriah Cemetery and a remembrance service will be held in the summer of 2021.
Memorials are requested to Frontier Hospice, 1940 Dewey Blvd; BSW 845 S. Wyoming or to The Butte Emergency Food Bank, 1019 E. Second Street.
“Living or dead, an Elk is never forgotten, never forsaken”
“It is the hour of remembrance. Let the chime sound 11 times”.
“To Our Absent Members!”
Please visit below to offer a condolence or share a memory of Mike. Axelson Funeral and Cremation Services has been privileged to care for Mike and the Axelson Family.
Read the thoughts and memories, then feel free to add your own.
Jim, Janet, Steve, Lorie and families: Thinking of you all at this time of loss. Mike was a wonderful and gentle soul. Sending you all love and peace.
Great Memories of Mike at the Bank. Always had a smile for everyone and brightened your day
Memory Eternal Denise Horne
Heather Johnson says
It has been 38 years ago when I met Mike at Dr. Neil’s office, the dentist. I worked there and loved visiting with Mike. I have not seen him in years. Thoughts and Prayers for your family.
Bayley from the Springs says
Mike was my first friend at the Springs. He has such a kind heart and a happy disposition. Mike always has a way of shining light on the darkest day. My heart is broken knowing I won’t get to see his smiling face anymore. I’m at peace knowing Mike is also at peace, and he’s watching over us now.
Eric Hyatt says
Jim, Janet, and Families,
I worked with Mike at BSW and he was just and amazing man, could turn any bad day into a good one.
When I was a member of BPOE 240 in Butte, he was the inner Guard and he did the job so well from memory. He will never be forgotten.
In God’s Peace,
Jeff Miller says
Jim, Janet, Steve, Lorie and family, please accept my deepest sympathies in the loss of Mike. Mike was a very caring, gentle soul who touched many lives. Rest easy old pal.
Beverly Shea O’Neill says
From the family of Peggy Shea Sestrich we are sending thoughts and prayers for your loss.
Pat Johnson says
Janet, Jim and Boys…I always enjoyed Mike during the times I saw him during our days in Butte. He was always kind and friendly, and a special man. Dave and I send you our hearts and prayers at this time and hope you are filled with God’s peace. Our sympathy is with you in your loss.
I feel so incredibly blessed to have got to know Mike and to be there during his last hours. Rest easy and fly free Mike
I met Mike over 60 years ago at my former church. He was very outgoing and friendly and had an incredible memory. In the past 22 years, I was associated with Mike through UCT.. He was a loyal and dedicated member for 50 years and long time officer as well. My late father and I drove Mike to and/or from 200+ meetings and it was very rare for Mike to miss a meeting. He loved to talk about the good old days growing up in Butte and his life. He is an unforgettable true icon of Butte.
Dee Rozan says
In memory of “Skating Mike” always remember his presence at Clark’s park. All the kids loved Mike including myself.. Rest In Peace Mike, I know you are skating with the angels now
Julie Cassidy says
Steve, Jim and family,
I have such fond memories of Mike. As a child I always felt like he was my big brother. What a wonderful, and genuine man who always lit up a room with his smile. I am sorry for your tremendous loss.
Julie (Jacobsen) Cassidy
Cindy Ruffner says
I worked with Mike at BSW for many years. When we moved into the Wyoming Street building, it became Mike’s habit to stop and chat with me every morning when he arrived. I looked forward to his entertaining conversations and enjoyed them very much. It’s what I will miss the most with Mike’s passing. Even though I know most of Mike’s family, he made sure I was up to date on the eagerly awaited babies of his cherished nephews and all of the little family bits of news. Mike was a BSW icon and was well known by most. He will be missed.
RIP Mike and enjoy your conversations with those who went before you.
Sherrel Blair says
Steve and Lorie, Jim and Janet
So sorry to hear about Mike’s death. He certainly was a very unique man with so many endearing traits. He was always so kind and thoughtful and I was amazed by his excellent memory!