Allyn Knute Emmanuel Axvig


Allyn Knute Emmanuel Axvig, 83, died Tuesday, March 2, 2021, at his home in Gold Canyon, AZ. He also lived in Cass Lake, MN in the summer.

Allyn was born in Grand Forks, ND, on Sept. 28, 1937, to Henry and Freda Axvig. He was raised on the Axvig farmstead near Edinburg, ND and attended a rural school until the 9th grade when he began attending Oak Grove Lutheran School in Fargo, ND.

Allyn loved traveling and after high school graduation in 1955, he visited Seattle and soon decided to move there. He worked and attended classes at Washington State University. While he was in Seattle living with his best friend, Kenny Nygard, he met his future wife, Carol Parton. She was 15 and he was 18. They went on a blind date and were married two years later in 1957.

Allyn fell not only in love with Carol, but with the mountains and soon began skiing as much as he could. In order to afford his love of skiing, he joined the Ski Patrol. While living in Seattle he worked at various businesses with the ambition of learning how to run his own business. In 1961, he joined the Army Reserves and was stationed in Fort Sam Houston, Texas, where he trained as a medic in the burn unit. This equipped him to handle virtually any crisis. After six months, he was able to return to Seattle and served in the summer and on weekends until 1967.

In September of 1966, Allyn’s father, Henry, wanted to retire from farming and asked his son to move back to North Dakota and take over the family farm. Allyn and Carol moved to the farm near Edinburg, N.D. and began growing crops such as wheat, barley, sunflowers and flax. About a year after moving to North Dakota and building a new house on the farm, they were blessed with a daughter, Kimberly, who was born June 26, 1967. Their second daughter, Cathy, was born March 17, 1971.

When his daughters were starting school in the late 1970s, Allyn became interested in education and decided to run for the local school board. He was always a good administrator and soon was the president of the school board. He went on to join the North Dakota School Board Association and was elected president. He also was part of the National School Board Association. He valued education and always worked to enrich his family and would strive to make family trips educational. He also worked to help give students at the local schools of Milton and Osnabrock opportunities to take part in field trips to the state capital as well as other places.

Allyn loved to travel and in the late 1970s and early 1980s, he began the extreme sport of helicopter skiing. He skied in Europe and Canada always loving the Bugaboos in British Columbia, Canada, perhaps best. He took his family on many ski trips and passed on the love of mountains and skiing to his kids.

He had a heart for kids and not only opened their home to his nieces and nephews but also to foreign exchange students. Over the years Allyn hired many young people to work at the farm and was known as a kind and generous employer and mentor.

Allyn never let financial hardships keep him down. When farming for him was no longer sustainable, he started a construction company specializing in excavating and road development. He built Great Plains Excavating into a successful business before retiring in 2017.

He greatly enjoyed his grandchildren and when he and Carol bought a home in Arizona, he made sure it had a pool for them to enjoy and bought an off-road all terrain vehicle to explore the mountains nearby. He loved having his family for holidays and was known for his hospitality. He was always inviting people to come and stay at their homes and would grill steaks as his special meal. He was very proud of his yard and would always say, “It looks like somebody cares around here,” just after the lawn was mowed. When he and Carol bought their lake home in 2018, he wanted it to be a place where the extended family would gather and enjoy the lake and each other. He loved having company and even at the end, enjoyed having people around.

He was a member of Victory Free Lutheran Church in Park River, ND and was a devout Christian for most of his life.

Allyn was preceded in death by his parents, his brother, Robert Axvig and his sister, Elaine (Dwayne) Wright. He is survived by his wife, Carol; daughters, Kim Anderson and Cathy (Tom) Gee; grandchildren, Nathan, Amanda and Jonathan; sister Marjorie (Jim Benson) Smith; and many nieces, nephews and cousins.

A memorial service will be held at 2 p.m. Sunday, March 14 at East Valley Church of the Nazarene, 127 N. Signal Butte Road, Apache Junction, AZ, 85120. Another memorial service will be held in North Dakota in June. The date is still to be determined.

Memorials can be made to the East Valley Church of the Nazarene.

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