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Col. Max M. Axelsen

Obituary for Col. Max M. Axelsen

October 22, 1921 - September 21, 2017
San Antonio, Texas | Age 95


Col. Max M. Axelsen, USAF Ret., passed away on September 21, 2017 at his home in San Antonio, Texas, where he had resided since 1979. He was born on October 22, 1921 in Clear Lake, Iowa to Christopher Axelsen of Veddum, Denmark and Dora Meinecke of Iowa. Max met the love of his life, Margaret, at a ballroom dance when he was 18. They married on November 10, 1943 in Minneapolis, Minnesota and had a beautiful marriage filled with much love and joy.

As a young man, Max served as a seaman on a Standard Oil Co. tanker that visited many areas of the Pacific and Central America. When World War II began, he enlisted in the Army Air Corps and graduated from flight school at Marfa, Texas. He was assigned to the 43rd Bomb Group in New Guinea where he flew more than 500 combat missions over the Pacific. He left the service in October 1945 as a Captain but was recalled to active duty during the Korean War in May 1951. He also served in Panama, 1966-1969, and flew 99 combat missions in Southeast Asia during the Vietnam War. Subsequently he served in Strategic Air Command units as Director of Operations, Vice-Wing Commander, and Wing Commander. He retired in 1974 after 28 years active duty. His final position was Director of the Intercontinental Ballistic Missile Inspection, Office of the Inspector General for which he was awarded the Legion of Merit. Max wanted to be a pilot since he was a child and felt blessed to make a career of it while serving his country.

Max was a charter member of the Lutheran Church of the Resurrection and a 28 year member of Concordia Lutheran Church. Max was an extrovert and he enjoyed leading several organizations in his life; including as President of the 43rd Bomb Group Association, the Rotary Club and his Homeowner's Association. He was a graduate of the University of Nebraska, and a devout "Husker" fan.

Max had a great sense of humor, and loved to tease, sing, and dance. After retirement, he and Margaret travelled to numerous places both in the United States and abroad. They both enjoyed entertaining friends and family in their home and celebrating the simple pleasures in life. He spent his spare time golfing, attending his grandchildren's many activities and doting on his pets. He was generous, kind, and compassionate to friends and strangers alike. He laughed easily and often and never missed a chance to make a new friend. As a husband, father, grandfather and great-grandfather he showed us how to live each day with purpose and joy and he will live forever in our hearts and prayers.

He was preceded in death by his brothers Morris and Chris, and his twin sister Maxine. Max is survived by his loving wife of 73 years, Margaret, his son Max, his daughter Linda Gutzman, and her husband Dr. Dennis Gutzman; four grandchildren and their spouses, David and Kylie Gutzman, Lisa and Charles Houssiere, Lori and Garrett Karam, and Kristine Gutzman; and five great-grandchildren, Avery Gutzman, Cash Houssiere, and Bennett, Parker, and Ellie Karam.

Services will be held at Concordia Lutheran Church, 16801 Huebner Road, on September 29, 2017 at 12 p.m. The family will receive friends from 6:30 p.m. to 8:30 p.m., Thursday, September 28, 2017 at Porter Loring Mortuary North.

The family requests that in lieu of flowers any donations be made to the Wounded Warriors Association.

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Porter Loring Mortuary North

2102 North Loop 1604 East
San Antonio, TX 78232
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