Family Login:

Larry William Axmaker
  • In lieu of flowers, the family would like any memorial donations to go to:
  • OHSU Knight Cancer Institute
    Mail Stop 45
    P O Box 4000
    Portland, OR 97208-9852

Share This Obituary

Arrangements made by

Smart Cremation

1900 St. James Place; Suite 300
Houston, TX 77056
Get Directions

Profile of Smart Cremation

Email Us



Memories & Candles

“Was so sad to hear about Larry. We use to run with him, while you lived in Waianae. Our thoughts and prayers are with your family. ”
1 of 12 | Posted by: Mara & Paul Alferez - Waianae, HI

“I was in Larry's home room (English and Social Studies) the year he taught at Whitford Middle School in Beaverton. All the girls had crushes on him,...Read More »
2 of 12 | Posted by: Lydia Robinson Beebe - Albany, OR

“My heart is sending love to you, Carole, and all of your beautiful family as you heal from the loss of such an amazingly kind and loving Larry! He...Read More »
3 of 12 | Posted by: Margo Mansfield - Yelm, WA

“Dear Carol and family,I have so many memories of visiting your family home at Prospect Lake in Victoria. Mostly I remember Larry's wicked sense of...Read More »
4 of 12 | Posted by: DeaWendy Payne - Victoria

“Carol and Larry Axmaker lived the example of a loving relationship. They loved each other and they laughed. My condolences to you Carol and your...Read More »
5 of 12 | Posted by: nancy backes - scottsdale, AZ

“So sorry to get the sad news about Larry passed away!I remember Larry as a very active person full of life, doing exciting things that pleased him!...Read More »
6 of 12 | Posted by: Birgitta Söderström

“Good bye to a great friend and employee. Larry worked for me at Wellsource. We worked together on writing projects for many years. I also joined him...Read More »
7 of 12 | Posted by: Don Hall - Happy Valley, OR

“I'm a better man because of Larry's influence in my life. So happy and blessed to have known him. ”
8 of 12 | Posted by: Mark Nelson - Chehalis, WA

“I am sorry for your loss. May prayer comfort you.1 Thessalonians 5:17 "Pray constantly." ”
9 of 12 | Posted by: A friend

“GOOD WORK LARRY. MERLIN DARBY, OCE 1959, ED.D. OSU 1968 ”
10 of 12 | Posted by: A friend

“Hearing about your loss has deeply sadden me. I hope the promise at Psalm 9:9 and 10 comforts your heart. ”
11 of 12 | Posted by: A friend

“While I don't think I ever met him, I always looked forward to reading his articles and enjoying his cartoons in the ORRC newsletter. I noticed they...Read More »
12 of 12 | Posted by: Lois Jordahl - Portland, OR


Larry William Axmaker, resident of Beavercreek, passed away on Feb 13, 2017, just a few miles from where he grew up. Larry was born on Aug 14, 1940 in Cottage Grove, Oregon, but moved to Colton, Oregon before he was one year old with his parents, John and Ruth Axmaker. Larry grew up on the family farm, working in the fields of local farmers during the summers and was active in sports, theater and all of the usual activities of a small country school. He graduated from Colton High School in 1958, then attended Oregon College of Education where he met and married the love of his life, Carol Nelson, with whom he recently celebrated 56 years of marriage.

He began his career as a teacher in Beaverton, then returned to school for a Master of Education in Guidance and Counseling and worked as a counselor and vice principal in Woodburn. While completing his Doctor of Education in Psychology and Counseling from Oregon State University, he was a counselor and instructor at Southwest Oregon Community College in Coos Bay. After graduation, Larry took his family, Carol and 4 kids, to Canada and was the school psychologist for the Victoria, BC school district for 8 years. He also taught Psychology at University of Victoria, and maintained a part-time private counseling practice. In 1977, now with 5 kids, they moved to Hawaii where, over the next 15 years, Larry was director of counseling at Chaminade University, taught psychology courses for several universities, and managed the Family Assistance program for the US Army. When he and Carol returned to Oregon he worked as a medical writer for a health company until retirement.

Larry always loved running and ran his first marathon while living in Victoria. In Hawaii he ran and directed many races and somehow he convinced all the kids to run races with him, and even motivated four of his kids (and later, one grandkid) to complete marathons. Race days were a family affair. Over his lifetime he completed more than 75 marathons and ultramarathons, including running the Hood to Coast Relay three times as a two-man team with his son Stacey. He was an active member of the Mid-Pacific Road Runners Club in Hawaii and the Oregon Road Runners Club.

He loved camping with his family in the summer and driving his Jeep through the Arizona desert in the winter. He was passionate about history and enjoyed traveling to visit historical sites all over the U.S. as well as abroad.

Larry had an irreverent sense of humor, which he cultivated throughout his life. He managed to find humor in just about every situation possible, often pushing boundaries. As early as high school he was creating comics with friends, one of which got him suspended from school! He was always coming up with a wry cartoon about whatever was happening in his life or in the family and posting it on the refrigerator.

In 2003 Larry was diagnosed with prostate cancer. His prostate was removed but the cancer returned, so while he underwent one treatment after another, he also participated in every cancer clinical trial he qualified for. Over the next 13 years he used his humor to help him deal with his cancer as he lived life to the fullest. He wrote a book, Real Men Get Prostate Cancer Too, and filled it with cartoons; co-authored a book, Cancer Clinical Trials; and wrote a blog to share his experiences with others.

He continued to do the things he loved, such as traveling, visiting family and friends, and even renovating an old house in the country, and logging and chopping enough firewood to heat that home for many winters to come.

Larry is survived by his wife Carol; his 5 children and their families: Sean Axmaker; Shelley and Dan Arenson and their children, Jeff, Jessica, and Jason; Stuart and Lacey Axmaker and daughter Samantha; Stacey and Brenda Axmaker and son Zane; Shannon Kauffman and daughter Courtney; and sister Sharon and her husband Jim Maben.

A Celebration of Life will be held on Saturday, April 29th at high noon at the Clarkes Grange, 19396 S Unger Rd., Beavercreek, OR. The family requests the wearing of tie dye or aloha wear in Larry's honor.

In lieu of flowers, the family would like any memorial donations to go to OHSU Knight Cancer Institute for continued research in the treatment, cure, and prevention of cancer.