Jay M. Axtell, 82 year old, of Las Cruces, NM died Thursday, February 9, 2006 at Memorial Medical Center. Jaybird, as he was affectionately called, was born to F.W. and Allie Mae Axtell in Fort Worth, Texas on January 9, 1924. After the death of his mother at an early age, his loving stepmother, Mamie, raised him on the family ranch in San Angelo, Texas where the Axtell Company manu...

Jay M. Axtell, 82 year old, of Las Cruces, NM died Thursday, February 9, 2006 at Memorial Medical Center. Jaybird, as he was affectionately called, was born to F.W. and Allie Mae Axtell in Fort Worth, Texas on January 9, 1924. After the death of his mother at an early age, his loving stepmother, Mamie, raised him on the family ranch in San Angelo, Texas where the Axtell Company manufactured the revolutionary Ever-oil windmill. After graduating from high school he proudly joined the United States Navy and served as the pilot of a Landing Craft boat in the Pacific during WWII. When he returned to San Angelo he attend Texas A & M, where he completed his Bachelor of Science Degree in Animal Husbandry. Jay moved to Las Vegas, New Mexico with his father and other family members to work on the family ranch and dairy. He was involved in the local chapter of the FFA and served as a mounted patrol officer. Jay moved to Las Cruces during the 1950's were he began working at White Sands Missile Range and was part of the Apollo missions that sent the first men to the moon. He also worked briefly on Kwajelein Island. He worked for Johnson Controls in Las Cruces and after assignments in Farmington and Albuquerque he retired from The Honeywell Corporation as a refrigeration and pneumatics controls specialist and returned to Las Cruces. He was an avid hunter and fisherman throughout his life, and held a state record for a fish he landed at Snow Lake. We cherish the memories of many wonderful times spent with him at his place at Lake Roberts. He was a sports fan and especially enjoyed watching his grandchildren play sports. He also played cowboy polo in Las Cruces in the1960's. Jay will be remembered as a humorous and fun-loving man who loved so many people. He was quick to lend a helping hand when needed and was always friendly, frequently telling people he'd "see more of you when we go swimming" or something equally silly. We will miss his light-hearted smile. Jay was a believer in the Lord and was a member of the Mesilla Park Community Church. Jay is preceded in death by many friends and loved ones, as well as his father, mother, step-mother, brothers "Dub" and "Doc", and sisters Libby, Jane, and Margaret. The most important person in his life, his beloved wife Lori, went be with the Lord in 1999, and he has longed to be in her presence ever since. Jay is survived by his sisters, Jerry Cherry of Albuquerque, and June Hutchinson of Texas; sons Ron Axtell of Las Cruces, and Tony Axtell of San Angelo, Texas; daughters Kim Axtell of Sacramento, California, Sedra Ranae of Portland Oregon, Kate Hasty of Las Vegas, Nevada and Kim Namestnik of Albuquerque; and by his grandchildren Halle, Jason, Josh, Christopher, Heather, Jordan, Lauren, Tina, Matthew, Taylor and eight great grandchildren. Visitation will be at Getz Funeral Home from 5 to 7 PM on Sunday, February 12, 2006 and a graveside memorial service with military honors will be held at Hillcrest Memorial Gardens Cemetery on Monday, February 13, 2006 at 10 AM. PDF Printable Version

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