Evelyn Stenbak Axelson’s earthly life ended Friday, August 5, 2022 at the Tioga Medical Center in Tioga, North Dakota. Fulkerson Stevenson Funeral Home of Tioga is assisting the family.
Evelyn had lived nearly 97 years since her birth on November 12, 1925. Her parents, Alvin and Martha (Hickle) Tancre, farmed south of Ray where Evelyn grew up. She attended Ray High School and worked at the Ray Café.
She recently enjoyed telling the story of meeting Ralph Stenbak when he was dating her cousin. After the cousin moved to the west coast, Ralph and his brother came to the Ray Café while she was working, ordered coffee, and sat there all afternoon. After work she walked to the theater and heard someone call her name. It was Ralph and his brother. Ralph took her arm and said, “You’re going to the show with me tonight.” He bought tickets and found seats for them and only remembered he’d left his brother
outside when Evelyn asked about him.
Evelyn and Ralph were married on November 17, 1943. They had four children and made their home in Tioga until moving to Williston after Ralph’s retirement. During their marriage they enjoyed playing whist, taking vacations to visit family, and spending time with family in the area.
When Ralph died in 2007, Evelyn moved back to Tioga to the Independent Living Apartments. She enjoyed music, dancing, playing bingo and all the activities held there. This is where she met Kenny Axelson. They were married on October 3, 2015, both at the age of 90. Anyone who witnessed their courtship and marriage saw a youthful romance that brought happiness to Evelyn’s last years. Evelyn was widely known for her baking. She enjoyed making bread, buns, donuts, and pie and gave it as gifts to many people. She also enjoyed crocheting and made many afghans, lap-robes and doilies to give away. Evelyn was an excellent seamstress, every year she handmade Easter dresses for her daughters.
In addition to Ralph, Evelyn was preceded in death by daughter, Karen (David) Estby, daughter and son-in-law, Marilyn and Ron Johnson; grandson, Mike Stenbak; an unborn grandchild; her parents; mother-and father-in-law, Ole and Dena (Solseth) Stenbak; two brothers; one sister; two brothers-in-law; three sisters-in-law.
Evelyn is survived by husband, Kenny Axelson and his three children, Margery (Steve) Mortenson of Kronenwetter, WI, Larry (Val) Axelson of Powers Lake, ND, Greg (Amy) Axelson of Williston, ND; Evelyn’s two children, son, David (Janice) Stenbak of Sun City, AZ, daughter, Laurie (Roger) Stiegelmeier of Claremont, SD; sister, Sharon (Harry) Ellis of Champaigne, IL; nine grandchildren, 17 great-grandchildren, many nieces and nephews.
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