Curtis Alan Axen
Curtis Alan Axen
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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


Celebration Of Life

First Unitarian Universalist Church
1727 Walden Lane SW
Rochester, Minnesota 55902
10:00 AM

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S Susie Bartlett on Oct 7, 2021

Neil and I send our deepest condolences to Dianne, Jennie, Maya, Lisa and Sharon and their families.
I feel Curt's absence and I miss knowing he's around and part of my family.
I have vivid memories of joyful reunions of the Axens and the Mobleys. Curt's dear and beautiful mom and my mom, also dear and beautiful, were cousins and loving friends. While they were cooking, cleaning up and laughing merrily, little Lisa and I would get to run around having a blast. Curt and my sister Lynn, the elder responsible ones, watched over us. In my mind they are following us at a bit of distance, visiting amiably but keeping an eye on us (and maybe occasionally rolling their eyes. Affectionately:). I also remember at those family gatherings, Curt hanging out some of the time with his Uncle Owen, my darling dad. I had the impression that Curt looked up to him; I'm sure that was really special for my dad who was blessed with daughters.
Later on in my parents' lives they lived a few hours from Rochester, and often saw Curt and Dianne whose love and friendship meant so very much to them. On my dad's last day, Curt came to the hospital and said goodbye to him so tenderly. I can't put into words how much that meant to Neil and me, at the time and to this day.
I looked up to Curt and when I was a kid when he was around I felt safe. He enriched my life and the life of my family. I really hate that he had to go. I'll always be grateful for him. His family and loved ones are in my thoughts and prayers.



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