The Garden Island
Notice #: 0001299162-01
Funeral Notices


Laurence Willard Axtell, of Kailua, passed peacefully in his sleep on October 7, 2020, at age 91 after several months of declining health. He is greatly loved and will be greatly missed. Larry was born on February 23, 1929, to Willard Gmehlin Axtell and Edwina Jones Axtell in Los Angeles, California. An only son with four sisters, he grew up in California and Colorado. While serving in the US Army in Japan during the Korean War, in 1953 Larry courted and married his beloved wife Fujiko, who then worked to support them through his college studies in Colorado. After earning dual degrees in architecture and engineering, Larry joined the federal civil service as an engineer for the US Navy. He moved his growing family to Hawaii in 1960, where he happily enjoyed the next six decades living in the quiet beach town of Kailua. He spent his working career at Pearl Harbor Naval Shipyard and then Hawaii Housing Authority. Over his long life, his favorite pastimes were books and puzzles, winemaking and beekeeping, tinkering and building (home projects, furniture, gadgets, even a homemade recumbent bicycle), as well as hiking and biking, both short jaunts around his hometown and long solo journeys in foreign lands. Laurence was preceded in death by his parents and his sisters Lura McDowell and Lou Schwartzwald. He is survived by his wife Fujiko Iwashita Axtell; children Carson Willard Axtell, Linda Mitsui Axtell-Thompson (Mark Thompson), and Benjamin Laurence Axtell (Tamara Bissell-Axtell); grandchildren Keaton Robert Axtell, Grace Malia Axtell, and Eliana Fongtian Thompson; and sisters Patricia Arthur and Grace Summers. He will be honored in a private family service at the Hawaii State Veterans Cemetery in Kaneohe. In lieu of flowers, please consider a donation in his name to your preferred charity.

Arrangements Provided By: Hawaiian Memorial Park Mortuary