Thomas Elvin Axten

October 3, 1931 – May 12, 2014

The family of T. Elvin Axten are saddened to announce his passing on May 12, 2014 in the caring arms of his family at the age of 82. He will be lovingly remembered by his wife Norma of 58 years. He passed along his strong sense of family values to his two children, daughter Bonnie, and son Cliff and their families. Bonnie’s husband Glen, and their children, Steve, Trish and Jason and son Jaxson. Cliff’s children, Leah, Steve and son Bailey, Chalsea and Chris, Kody, Stephanie and Luka and another on the way. Along with daughter-in-law Debbie he leaves behind two sisters, Gertie and Marj along with many special family members and close friends.
A celebration of Life honoring Elvin will be held at the Garden Hill Funeral Chapel located at 11765-224th St. at 11:00 am on Saturday May 17, 2014. In lieu of flowers please make a donation to the Ridge-Meadows Hospital foundation in Elvin’s name.



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Condolence Messages

  1. Bruce & Rose Perrin :

    Rest in peace Uncle Ally. We love you and know we were fortunate to have you in our life. Auntie Norma, Bonnie, Clifford and families I think you know our arms are around you at this time. We will honour Uncle Elvin on Saturday when we are all together , thought we would plant a rose bush. I remember how he was waiting for the rose buds to open.
    All our love
    Bruce, Rose and our family .

  2. Larry & BrendaLeeTowns :

    Our good family friend Elvin, we shall miss our good times camping , good talks and laughs around the campfires:) First camping trip out this season we will put another log on the fire in remembrance of you!
    Say Hi to Aunt Helen for us all.

    Love Larry & BrendaLee Towns

  3. Lori Snow (Hopkins) :

    Dear Norma, Bonnie, Cliff and families,

    I am so sorry to hear of the loss of your dear father. My heart goes out to you as I know exactly how you are feeling right now. The loss of our father is still raw and unbelievable. Even though you know they are not in pain any more that doesn’t help to fill the huge void that is left behind. They say that time will help you get used to not having them with you anymore. I really don’t think you ever get over it but the pain will become more tolerable as the days go by. You were all lucky to also have a fine upstanding man in your life as we did. We all learned a lot and will never forget the time we had with them. They will be forever in our hearts. Hope you are all okay.

    Lori, Tom and family

  4. Jill & Bob Leech :

    What a great gift it is to have known Al. To Norma, Bonnie, Cliff and your families, he was like a father to us too. Those times around the camp fire or just casual meetings at your home, are so special to us. Some men really stand out as teachers in our lives, and he was definitely one of them.. Our camp fire will be a little dimmer from now on also. Sadly missed but happily remembered. All our love..

    Jill & Bob

  5. Shelly & Len Gauthier :

    Axten family:
    It is with a heavy heart that we send you our condolences on the loss of such a heart-warming, fun loving man. He was always quick with the wit and giving anyone he could a rough time about anything and everything; many times he had us in stitches from laughing.

    He was always there for us when we lost our Dad (Dick) and if my Mother ever needed anything he was always available to help out and for that we will always be grateful.

    It is never easy losing a member of the family and it will seem to take forever to ease the pain; just know in time it will get easier but because he was such a wonderful man & person he will never be forgotten.

    Rest in peace trouble; we love you.

    PS ~ Norma I wish that I could have been there in person but medical issues prevented me from doing so; my thoughts and prayers are with you and the family at this time <3

    Shelly & Len

  6. Cathrine, Stephen, James & Scott Lowery :

    To: Mrs. Axten (Norma), Bonnie, Clifford and Families,

    Our deepest sympathy in the loss of your Husband, Father, Grandpa and Great Grandpa.
    We wish you comfort, peace and many happy memories of him to get you through this difficult time.
    Our thoughts and prayers are with you and your families.

    May Mr. Axten rest in peace.

    Thinking of you all,
    Love Cathrine, Stephen, James and Scott Lowery

  7. Patti & Wayne Tourand :

    We have the best memories of reunions at your place and of course your parents are part of our family as well. It is a sad time for all of us. Your mom & dad were such a wonderful help to us when we first went to Yuma. They kind of initiated us to the “good life”. They told us the best place to buy groceries, where to do laundry, where to buy water etc, all of the things greenhorns want to know.

    El you have always had a smile on your face and a trick up your sleeve. You have had a wonderful life and have been truly blessed to have such a loving wife and two great kids. I am sure you feel blessed to have beautiful grandchildren and even great grandchildren. We are all going to miss you. It is very hard to write this but just want you to know how much you mean to us and to our family. Now you are in heaven, pick out a few good camping spots as we will all join you there one day. We hope anyway!!

  8. Deanna Dalla Porta :

    Axten Family..
    I was so sorry to hear about Mr. Axten’s passing.. He will alway’s be Mr. Axten to me.. Mr. And Mrs. Ax ten treated me like family when Bonnie met at school.. He was stern, but always had a twinkle in his eye, as he would tell us to “have fun at the dance” He was a kind man, spent hours teaching us to water ski at hatzic lake in the “Tipsy” I think it had a martini glass as well on the boat. The house was always a happy place to be as I was growing up! Mrs. Axten would make these pills bury apple turnover’s that were amazingb

  9. Deanna Dalla Porta :

    Axten Family..
    I was so sorry to hear about Mr. Axten’s passing.. He will alway’s be Mr. Axten to me.. Mr. And Mrs. Ax ten treated me like family when Bonnie met at school.. He was stern, but always had a twinkle in his eye, as he would tell us to “have fun at the dance” He was a kind man, spent hours teaching us to water ski at hatzic lake in the “Tipsy” I think it had a martini glass as well on the boat. The house was always a happy place to be as I was growing up! Mrs. Axten would make these pills bury apple turnover’s that were amazing. It was a tradition I carried on to my children and the smell today still evokes the days in the kitchen I spent there. Mr. Ax ten made this amazing table, and I can still smell the varnish. I can tell you, he knew I was a wild child.. But the Axten’s were like my second family.. I never forgot their kindness to me.. He will be greatly missed..

  10. Bonnie Towns :

    Dad’s Story

    Dad was born on October 3, 1931at the Tom Axten Homestead on Section 36, Township 2, Range 20, West 2nd. This was located just out of Minton, Sask. Dad was five years old before he received his first haircut. Mom still has those curls. As well when he was five his father took him on a very special trip down to Plentywood, Montana to go for a ride on a Tiger Moth biplane. The charge was $1.00 per pound.??????

    On the farm at Minton, Dad’s family went five years without a crop. They had to stack Russian thistle for feed and gather cow chips for fuel for the fireplace so it was time to move on. Dad was six at this time. They moved to Little Bluff District in Moosomin which was about ¾ of a mile from where Mom’s family was living.

    Dad quit school after grade 8. He did manage to get one “A” during his school years. Believe it or not but we still have his report card prove it. The subject he received the “A” for was music. I still can’t figure that one out as Dad always said that the only thing he could play was the radio and stereo.

    At 15 Dad first left home and went on an old steamer to Blackwater, Ontario to hay for 2 months. Later on he went to Manitoba to work on a farm for 2 years. He received $100.00 a month for 6 months and then $50.00 a month for the other 6. His room and board were included.

    In the fall of 1955 Dad proposed to Mom on Halloween and promptly went out to B.C. and found a job shoveling coal into 100lb sacks down by the railway in Haney. He was living at Grandma and Grandpa’s winter home in Haney.

    Dad joined up with the Rovers where he met up with the Rouse family who helped him get a job delivering oil for Essolmont Fuels for $300.00 a month. He later came to board with the Rouse’s when his parents returned to Moosomin in the spring. They treated him just like one of the family.

    Dad purchased a small house on 10th Avenue in Haney from his father for $6000.00. My Mom’s father had told him that you should always have the cage before the bird.

    The Rouse’s, (his adopted family at that time), pitched in and helped Dad fix up the house for his bride. Dad purchased a stove, dining room suite and a bedroom suite and he was ready to go back to the prairies to get hitched. The Rouses took him to the plane to return to Sask. with his suitcase filled with confetti.

    Mom and Dad were married on October 6, 1956 in the living room of the Parker home in the same corner that Mom’s parents were married. They had 35 guests. Mom had been very clever in having two sets of clothes ready to go as her sister Bernice and others sewed and tied her clothes together that she had packed in her suitcase. She promptly dumped out the clothes on the bed and replaced them with the others that were ready in her dresser. The men had jacked up Dad’s truck and put it on blocks. During the wedding the blocks had settled in the ground and they managed to get away with some burnt rubber and flying grass and dirt. They stayed in Brandon on their wedding night and travelled to Oakville, Manitoba for three days.

    They returned and packed up and headed out in the 54 Chevy Truck for the 3 day trip to B.C. Mom didn’t know that there were that many mountains on the way. Mom and Dad arrived to the new home in Haney with lace curtains on the windows and the house nicely decorated with toilet paper and a bell under the bed and a sign on the door, “Honeymoon Haven” thanks to the Rouses. Years later Dad always referred to that house as “Honeymoon Haven”

    On July 16, 1958 I came along and kept Mom busy at home. On April 11, 1960 Cliff joined the family. About the time that Dad had finally managed to remove a very large cottonwood stump from the front yard after quite a struggle and a quite few words it was then that Mom started thinking that they should move to a larger house. When Cliff was 7 months old they moved to York St. They didn’t’t sleep for a couple weeks after signing the papers as the new house had cost them a lot of money. $14,250.00. They now had an $8,000.00 mortgage.
    Dad worked for Essolmont for 8 years and then started working for Rock Gas delivering gas in his “Unguided Missile”. Dad was with the company for 30 years as it changed to Canadian Propane and then ICG. He retired at 62. Dad had also been an assistant Rover leader for 15 years and had hiked up to the top of Battery Mountain to build a cairn which is still there today.

    Dad and Mom lived in the house on York St. for 27 years and then moved to their new home on 126th in March of 1988.

    Mom and Dad were wonderful parents and I am sure that Cliff and I didn’t’t let them know that often enough as we were growing up. We enjoyed many camping trips during the summer and every year we would start out at 5:00 a.m. in the morning for our yearly trip to Sask.
    When I was 13 Dad decided that it was time for us to go to Disneyland for our summer vacation instead of back to the prairies. Off we went with the tent trailer in tow and Uncle Clifford along for the ride. When we returned I remember Dad asking me if I had rather gone to Sask. instead of Disneyland. I told him that Disneyland was all right but I think I would have rather gone to the farm. Ungrateful child.

    During the summer Dad would be working hard a through the week. He would get home on the Friday and off we would go for a camping trip. Most of the time Mom and Dad would allow us to take a friend. I remember one time at Deception Pass when dad was backing up the camper into a spot and a woman came flying through the trees and threw a lawn chair right behind the truck to make Dad stop. She said that it was her campsite. Dad pulled out but every time he thought of that later he said that if he had it to do over again he would just back right over that chair.

    Mom and Dad have enjoyed numerous trips travelling to many places. They have been to Europe to visit 7 countries. They enjoyed their trip to Australia as well as to Spain, Portugal and Morocco. They have been through the Panama Canal both ways. Dad said so that they could see both sides so they didn’t miss anything. They have also gone to Hawaii numerous times. Dad and Mom loved their trips down to Arizona during the winter months. Glen and I were so happy that we were able to join them for two visits while they were there. I think that the most fun they had was when they were camping with their family. It was great to be up at Allouette Lake where we could all get together. Dad’s favorite part of the camping was the campfire. If he had lots of wood he would keep that fire burning all day long.

    Dad was always taking us out on mystery trips. Usually on a Sunday we would pack up a lunch and head out. We would end up in sliding down Mt. Baker in our shorts on pieces of cardboard and plastic bags or out on an adventure hike or many other excursions. I think that sometimes Mom didn’t’t even know where we were going. We continued this tradition with our own family.
    When Cliff and I started having families of our own they became wonderful grandparents. Grandpa would always be ready for a wrestle on the living room floor and Grandma would always have a chocolate wacky cake waiting in the fridge. I know that Steve, Trish, Leah, Chalsea and Kody have many fond memories of spending time with Grandpa and Grandma and heading out on camping trips with them.

    As the years went by it was now our turn to take Mom and Dad out on the mystery trips. The one that I think that Dad enjoyed the most was when we took them to Stave Lake to visit the raft that floated around the lake all summer with 4 RV’s on it. I don’t think that Dad would have put his 5th wheel on it but he really enjoyed seeing it.

    I truly believe that Dad’s greatest thrill in life was when his nephew Andrew arranged for Mom and Dad to fly to Regina on a Lear jet to attend Dad’s cousin’s birthday. I am sure that Dad showed those pictures to almost everyone in Maple Ridge. Andrew also arranged for Mom and Dad to visit his home in Palm Springs. Mom and Dad were escorted there by my cousins and I never worried about them when they were with that crew. I hope they know how special they were to my Dad.

    When Dad’s great grandson Jaxson was born early weighing just 1 pound 4 ounces. Dad was amazed at how that little guy fought to stay with us. When Jaxson finally came home from the hospital we had to do a lot of coaxing for Dad to hold him as he was so worried that he would break. Jaxson held a special place in Dad’s heart and his only regret was that he would not be able to see Jaxson grow up.

    I could go on for pages and pages saying how much I loved my Dad and how special he was to us all. One of the last things that Dad said to me was that he had a wonderful life.

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