Curtis Alan Axen, 69, passed away peacefully on September 3, 2021 at his home in Rochester, Minnesota with his wife of 47 years, Dianne, by his side. Curt endured a chronic lung disease which he dealt with courageously, facing the challenge through the end with bravery, strength and positivity.
Curt was born August 4, 1952 in Oakpark, Illinois, the son of Evelyn (Anderson) and John Axen. He graduated from Lutheran High School in Racine, Wisconsin. Curt continued his education at the University of Wisconsin - Platteville where he met and fell in love with Dianne. They had one daughter, Jennifer, in 1974 and eventually moved to Rochester, MN in 1982 when Dianne took a position with Mayo Clinic.
Curt enjoyed a long and prolific career as a landscape designer. A true artist, Curt was passionate about trees, nature, architecture and design. Curt greatly admired the work of Frank Lloyd Wright and Jens Jensen who inspired many of the landscape designs and gardens he planted throughout Minnesota, Wisconsin and Illinois.
Curt was a loving and devoted husband, father and grandfather. He loved taking road trips with his wife, exploring new places, listening to live music and traveling to see his daughter and granddaughter in California.
He is survived by his wife, Dianne, daughter, Jennifer (Mike Hyland) and granddaughter, Maya. He is also survived by two sisters, Sharyn (Merritt) Rhoads and Lisa (Ed) Smerchek.
Services and a celebration of life will be held Saturday, October 9, 2021 at 10am at the First Unitarian Universalist Church 1727 Walden Lane SW, Rochester, MN. Memorials may be sent to Season's Hospice or donor's choice.
Ranfranz and Vine Funeral Home is honored to be serving the Axen Family; to share a special memory or condolence, please visit www.ranfranzandvinefh.com
Celebration Of Life
Rochester, Minnesota 55902
I am so proud to be Curt Axen's daughter. My Dad was the kindest, smartest and most loving father I could ever imagine. Those who know him know that he was a true force of nature - and a guardian of it. He had an amazing wealth of knowledge - he seemed to know something about everything. He was a man full of love and conviction and really great stories. I feel so grateful that I was lucky enough to have him as a father. He is a true role model. He lived his life with so much integrity, always standing up for what he believed in and showing the people he loved just how much he cared for them. I remember once, as an adult, being stranded at an airport in St.Louis during a bad winter storm. I called my parents to let them know I would be delayed by a day. My Dad said he would get in the car and could be there to pick me up in 8 hours. This is the kind of man my Dad was - he would go to any length to take care of his family and make sure we were safe. He didn't just say these things - he lived them. He loved my Mom so much and was so proud of her . I have many fond memories, from the time that I was little through my adulthood, of hearing the muffled sounds of my parents in constant conversation, over breakfast or late at night. They loved each other's company and seemed to be endlessly excited to spend time together, taking long drives together, exploring new places, going to estate sales and looking at homes.
There is so much about my Dad's life to be inspired by and remember: to always aspire to know more and do more, to stand-up for what you believe in, to speak your mind and your truth, to pursue your passion and not compromise your vision, to love your family with every fiber of your being, to be willing to do things that are hard or en just inconvenient in the name of love, to enjoy life and relish in all of it's large and small joys. If you want to a way to remember my Dad, you can just take a moment to take in one of those small joys: appreciate a beautifully landscaped park, enjoy a great Italian dinner, take a spontaneous Sunday drive, relish in a really excellent guitar solo.
I miss you so much, Dad, but I will continue to celebrate you and be inspired by you for the rest of my life. Love, Jenny