Margaret A. Axelson

December 20, 1919December 20, 2011

Margaret Alice Axelson, Just after midnight on December 20, Marge’s family gathered around her hospital bed and sang for her 92nd birthday. She passed away peacefully that morning, comforted by the steadfast love and attention from her beloved children, grandchildren, and great-grandchildren. Marge was born in Virginia, MN on December 20, 1919 to Iver and Anna (Johnson) Hawkinson and had a wonderful childhood with her two older brothers, Bob and Buck, and her younger sister, Marian. They were a very close family. When Marge was 7, her parents bought a cabin on Lake 14, north of Virginia. From then on, they spent every summer living at the lake. With all its happy memories, Lake 14 continued to be a very precious place for Marge throughout her entire lifetime. After graduating from Roosevelt Junior and Senior High School, Marge went right on to Virginia Junior College and graduated June 4, 1940 with a business degree. During WWII, Marge was appointed executive secretary of the Virginia Chamber of Commerce. Her short hand and other secretarial skills were of great benefit to her in all the years to come. On February 5, 1943, Marge married her high school sweetheart, A. Herbert Axelson (“Hub”). They continued to live in Virginia until their move to Duluth in 1957. Marge and Hub adored each other and, together, they cherished their three children, and two grandchildren. Marge was devoted to Hub and the kids and loved every minute with them. She was a stay-at-home mom until age 50 when Hub asked her to work at his consulting engineering firm as a secretary and bookkeeper. They were a good team and enjoyed 38 wonderful years of marriage before Hub’s untimely passing in 1981. Focusing on her beloved children, grandchildren, and eventually, also, her precious great-grandsons, she continued to find and give much joy in her life. One of the last things she said to all of us was, “I couldn’t have had a better family.” Marge was a very special lady. Her quick wit and great sense of humor were present always, even during the toughest of times. She could do just about anything, and she did it well. Among her many accomplishments, Marge loved to knit for family and friends and has left us all with treasures from her loving hands. Also, her 15 years of volunteering at St. Mary’s Hospital gave her great joy. She was preceded in death by her husband, Hub; her son, Rolf Axelson; Her brother, Robert Hawkinson; and her sister, Marian Smith. She is survived by her son, Bruce (Marlys) Axelson; her daughter, Jane (David) Nygard; her two grandchildren, Rachel (Paul) Johnson, and Daniel Nygard; her two great-grandsons, Zachary and Tyler Johnson; Her “grand dog,” Teddy; her special brother, Buck (Cora) Hawkinson; and her sisters-in-law, Lois (Bob) Hawkinson; Reba (Edward) Axelson; and Doris (Albert) Axelson; as well as many nieces and nephews. Our special thanks and gratitude to Marge’s loving caregivers: Dr. Susanne Pearce from Lake Superior Internal Medicine; and Sascha Mansson and “the girls” from Touching Hearts at Home. Marge’s family has planned a celebration of life memorial service for January 6, 2012 with visitation at 11:00 A.M. and the service at noon at First Lutheran Church, 1100 East Superior St., Duluth. Marge greatly enjoyed listening to the Sunday church service on the radio in her later years, so, in lieu of flowers, and if desired, donations could be made to First Lutheran Church Radio Fund. Please leave a memory of Margaret or words of support for the family at


  • Visitation Friday, January 6, 2012
  • Memorial Service Friday, January 6, 2012

Margaret A. Axelson

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Reba Axelson

January 2, 2012

Dear Marge. Thank you so much for all the wonderful times we had with you and Hub in your home. It meant so much to my children and me when we came to visit you over the many years. So many wonderful memories to re-live over the years. Even now! There are no words to really express how we feel. Reba Axelson and her children. Ann Costello and Bill Axelson

Nancy Williams

January 2, 2012

We cherish our memories of our Aunty Marge and the special times we shared at Lake 14. We pray a special blessing for Jane's and Bruce's family as they enter a New Year without their loving mom and grandma. May this coming year bring healing to all of you. Lovingly, Cousin Nancy and Nora

Sally VanValkenburg

December 27, 2011

Goodbye, Marge.
We will all miss you!
Your brother,
Sally, Ann, Jim David and families