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Theodore Axelsen

Theodore J. "Ted" Axelsen Jr.

Friday, May 3rd, 1946 - Friday, November 8th, 2019
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Obituary

Theodore (“Ted”) J. Axelsen, Jr., 73, of Kennebunk, died Friday, November 8, 2019 at home after a 3-year courageous battle with brain cancer.

Born May 3, 1946, in Portland, ME, the son of the late Theodore J. Axelsen, Sr. and Juanita Axelsen, he was a 1964 graduate of Deering High School (Portland, ME). After high school, he served four years in the United States Air Force where he attained the rank of Staff Sergeant and received the Outstanding Airman of the Quarter Award. Upon leaving the service, he attended the University of Maine Portland-Gorham (now University of Southern Maine), where he graduated in 1974 with a Bachelor’s Degree in Liberal Arts. Following graduation, Mr. Axelsen began his 30-year tenure as a History Teacher at the Middle School of the Kennebunks.

Fondly known as “Mr. A” by his beloved students, Mr. Axelsen enthusiastically engaged with and mentored his students. He was well-known for creating memorable interactive learning opportunities, such as the annual “50’s Day,” an interdisciplinary unit featuring a sock hop where he taught over 200 eighth graders each year to dance the jitterbug. His gregarious personality, tremendous sense of humor, and eclectic collection of ties, landed him the role of official Master of Ceremonies for many school events.

Mr. Axelsen combined his love of students and sports by serving as Middle School Athletic Director and coached several sports throughout his teaching career. During summers, he ran a basketball camp for middle school students. Even after he officially retired from teaching, he continued to support student athletes by serving as a timer for basketball games and ticket collector for high school football games.

For over forty years, Mr. Axelsen continued an annual tradition started by his father of donning his tailor-made Santa Claus suit to share the spirit of Christmas throughout the greater Kennebunk area. Each year, he purchased and wrapped unique Hallmark ornaments, delivering them with a jolly “Ho Ho Ho” to the young children of his coworkers, friends, and family. Christmas was truly his favorite time of year.

Ted was an avid New England Sports fan and enjoyed baking, photography, and spending time with his grandchildren. He was affectionately known as the “Mayor of Garrison Oaks” and was often seen “holding court” with several of his neighbors on any given day. And who could forget his trademark introduction so often heard from Ted, “Greetings and Salutations!”

Predeceased by his parents, he is survived by his life partner, Gail Norton of Kennebunk; his son Theodore Axelsen, III and wife Rebecca of Kennebunk, ME; his son Kristopher Axelsen and wife Brittany of South Portland, ME; his brother, Douglas Axelsen and wife Elizabeth of Old Orchard Beach, ME; his sister Karen Pacillo and husband George of Scarborough, ME; grandchildren Nicole, Kelly, and Braelyn Axelsen of Kennebunk, ME and several nieces and nephews.

Visiting hours will be held at Bibber Memorial Chapel, 67 Summer St. Kennebunk, Maine, Wednesday, November 13 from 2-5pm. A memorial service to celebrate the life of Theodore J. Axelsen, Jr. will be held Thursday, November 14 at 2pm at Bibber Memorial Chapel. Burial will immediately follow the service at Hope Cemetery, Kennebunk, Maine.

In lieu of flowers, memorial donations may be made in his name to St. Jude Children’s Hospital, 501 St. Jude Place, Memphis, TN. 38105
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  • Visitation

    Wednesday, November 13th, 2019 | 2:00pm - 5:00pm
    When
    Wednesday, November 13th, 2019 2:00pm - 5:00pm
    Location
    Bibber Memorial Chapel-Kennebunk
    Address
    67 Summer Street
    KENNEBUNK, ME 04043
    Get Directions: View Map | Text | Email
  • Service

    Thursday, November 14th, 2019 | 2:00pm
    When
    Thursday, November 14th, 2019 2:00pm
    Location
    Bibber Memorial Chapel-Kennebunk
    Address
    67 Summer Street
    KENNEBUNK, ME 04043
    Get Directions: View Map | Text | Email
  • Interment

    Location
    Hope Cemetery
    Address
    1 Barnard Lane
    PO Box 211
    KENNEBUNK, ME 04043
    Get Directions: View Map | Text | Email
  • Reception

    Location
    Bibber Memorial Chapel-Kennebunk
    Address
    67 Summer Street
    KENNEBUNK, ME 04043
    Get Directions: View Map | Text | Email

Donations

Donations are being accepted for: St. Jude Children's Research Hospital.

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SW

Scott & Christine Wernig

Posted at 05:33pm
Sending our heartfelt condolences. Ted was my cousin and my husband's neighbor growing up on Commonwealth Drive in Portland, ME. He was the big brother Scott never had and he has many fond memories of time spent with Ted and his brother Doug playing ball among other things. He was one of the good guys and the world is sadder without him in it. Rest in peace, Ted!

Scott & Christine (Axelsen) Wernig
EW

Elliott Woodbury

Posted at 09:15am
I remeber Ted from our youthful days at Little Sebago Lake, Maine which he so thoroughly enjoyed. Elliott Woodbury
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Bob Pelletier

Posted at 09:24pm
Ted, who I referred fondly to as Penguin, was a very special friend. When I lost my bride of 38 years and found myself alone in Maine, it was his friendship and companionship that got me out of a very dark place and back to appreciating life. He was one of a kind and I will miss him forever.
SW

Sally Wakeland

Posted at 07:25pm
Ted was simply amazing....his 50s week was something both my children remembered with fondness! I also taught with Ted while on the Beer Team at MSK! My sympathies to Gail and his family.
Sally Wakeland
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