MADISON, MS - Robert (Bob) Daniel Axtell, age 58 passed away on January 12, 2010 in Madison, MS. Visitation will be held 5-7pm today at Wright & Ferguson Funeral Home on Highland Colony Parkway in Ridgeland, MS and 10am Friday January 15, 2010 at Highlands Presbyterian Church in Ridgeland. Funeral services will follow at 11:00am Friday with burial to be in Parkway Memorial Cemetery.
Although Bob's life ended prematurely after a courageous fight against cancer, his spirit and zest for life will continue to inspire and impact the many lives he touched and influenced as a loving husband, father, co-worker and friend.
Known for his great wit, Bob never met a pun he didn't like. Not only did he delight in using them to spread laughter with those he loved, but also he often used that same creativity to help his advertising clients to convey a clever message to the public.
Growing up in the Midwest after being born in Chicago on June 17, 1951, Bob became a huge St. Louis Cardinals fan and he not only enjoyed watching the sport, but also became quite a player himself. After graduating from Deerfield High School (Deerfield, IL) Bob played college baseball for the Iowa Hawkeyes and continued to grace the diamond with a high-level of play throughout Louisiana and Mississippi well into his fifties.
Although Bob never made it to the big leagues, he did have quite an MLB experience when he attended as an anniversary present a Dodger Town Fantasy Camp with the 1975 World Series team. Not only did he have the opportunity to rub elbows with baseball's biggest stars, but he was named the MVP of the camp.
While Bob had a love for baseball and collegiate sports, he had a true conviction for loving the Lord. Christian faith was the center of his life and he helped to introduce and glorify his Lord Jesus Christ through more than nine years of teaching Sunday school at the Christ United Methodist Church in Shreveport, LA. Knowing that the Lord's work often extends beyond Sunday, Bob also served on many church committees through the years.
Bob was also a strong church member while living in Mississippi and was a member of the Highlands Presbyterian Church in Ridgeland when he passed away. During his sickness, Bob and his family were thankful and overwhelmed with the love and support they received from the Highlands' church family.
As a family man, Bob was extremely dedicated. He was honored with the hand of the former Miss Ellen Schroeder, whom he married on January 5, 1975. Bob had the loving pleasure of spending 35 years in marriage with his beloved wife Ellen. Not only did their union create many warm and cherished memories, but it also produced the pride and joy of, their lives, their daughter Kat.
Too say that Bob was a dedicated employee would be a vast understatement. His excellence in advertising sales and management shined for many years. After graduating with degrees in Mass Communications and Business from Western Illinois University in 1976, Bob began his career in broadcasting and advertising at KDXI Radio in Mansfield, LA. Additional radio work took him to KWKH and KTUX in Shreveport, LA.
Bob transitioned into TV in 1989 and served as sales manager at Shreveport's KSHV-TV/UPN-TV. Continuing his work in TV sales management, Bob moved to Mississippi in 2002 for a leadership role at WDBD-TV in Jackson. Bob's final stint in broadcasting sales was at Jackson Mississippi's ABC affiliate, WAPT-TV.
As a top producer, Bob excelled so well that he was named an Eagle Award Winner from Hearst Argyle Company. This was just one of many awarded accomplishments throughout Bob's broadcast sales and management career.
Bob was with WAPT when he was diagnosed with cancer. Although his prognosis was grim from the onset, he continued to serve the station with an unwavering devotion that served as a true inspiration. The family is eternally grateful for the love and support provided by the entire staff of WAPT.
The Axtell family will be forever grateful for the tremendous medical care administered to Bob by Dr. Nicole Cleveland and her staff. Nicole and her team of nurses that included Jennifer, Candace and Nicki provided exemplary care and compassion through all of Bob's cancer treatments.
Bob is preceded in death by his mother, Betty W. Axtell and paternal grandparents Warren and Cora Axtell and maternal grandparents Chester and Lucille Wettstein. In addition to his wife Ellen, he is survived by his daughter Kat, father - Alan Axtell of Medford, OR, siblings Linda Axtell Rudat of Lake Stevens, WA, Thomas Axtell of Henderson, NV, Rick Axtell of Danville, KY and numerous nieces and nephews.
In honoring Bob, the Axtell family requests that memorial donations be made to the Jackson, MS Salvation Army, Highlands Presbyterian Church Youth or Missions,or the American Cancer Society . Online guestbook @ www.mem.com Wright & Ferguson Funeral Home