Beatrice ‘Bea’ Axelsen

Beatrice M. “Bea” Axelsen, 92, of Menomonie died Tuesday, September 28, 2021, at Heritage of Elmwood Nursing Home in Elmwood.

Beatrice M Axelsen 2Bea was born on December 18, 1928, on a farm near Plum City to Benjamin and Teresa (Traynor) Sagstetter. She attended a one-room country school and graduated from Elmwood High School in 1947. She worked in the school office for bus fare and was in the band, playing bass drum. Bea attended the Stout Institute from 1947 until 1950, majoring in home economics education. She met her husband-to-be while attending college. Bea married Paul Axelsen September 15, 1951, in Plum City. They lived in Owatonna, MN, for a year while Paul worked for American Yearbook, a division of Jostens, Paul accepted his first teaching position at Pattengill Junior High in Lansing, MI. Their son, Andy, was born there in 1954.

In 1955, Paul returned to Stout Institute to earn a master’s degree in industrial education. The following year they moved to Menomonie, where Paul was employed at Stout for 31 years in the printing department and campus planning. Bea worked at a business office in Lansing Farmer’s National Bank, Tomah, First Federal Savings and Loan, Menomonie and Food Service at Stout. She shared her time and energy with her church and community, she also volunteered with the Red Cross, Cub Scout den mother, Hospital Auxiliary and PCCW President and treasurer at St. Joseph Catholic Church.

Bea considered her marriage to Paul the most important part of her life. Her motto in life: “Be happy, think positive and count your blessings.” Caring for others was a passion of Bea’s.

Bea retired with her husband in 1987, for 20 years, they spent 4 to 6 months in Mesa, AZ. In an active condominium community where Bea was active in many activities. Bea was an excellent seamstress, making clothes for herself and her family. Her other talents and hobbies included gardening, quilting, needlework, and creative arts and crafts. She was happy in her home, always ready to make it a welcoming place. Bea had a strong faith with a special devotion to Our Blessed Mother. She loved children, and the beauties of nature. Bea was a loving, caring, wife, mother, and grandmother, always putting her family first.

Bea is survived by her son, Andy (Kari) of Temple, TX; three grandsons, Aaron, Adam and Alec; one sister, Berniece Marte; sister-in-law, Emily Axelsen and many nieces and nephews. She is preceded in death by her parents, husband, Paul; sister Florence Freund; brothers-in-law, Ervin Freund, Elmer Marte and Richard Axelsen; sister, Evelyn Hartung; one brother, Ambrose Sagstetter and sister-in-law, Fannet Sagstetter.

Private memorial services will be at 10 a.m. Saturday, October 16, at St. Joseph Catholic Church in Menomonie with Rev. John Mano officiating. The memorial service will be livestreamed on the Rhiel Funeral Home & Cremation Services Facebook page. Burial will be in the church cemetery.

Memorials may be made in Bea’s name to St. Joseph Catholic School, 910 Wilson Ave, Menomonie, WI 54751.