May 28, 2019


Russell Axman, 87, of Dedham, died unexpectedly on Sunday, May 26, 2019, at his home.

Mass of the Christian Burial will be celebrated at 10:30 a.m. Friday, May 31, at St. Joseph Catholic Church in Dedham. The celebrant will be Father Kevin Richter assisted by Deacon Louis Meiners. Music will be by Cindy Bauer and the St. Joseph choir. Lectors for the Mass will be Mindy Giraldo and Morgan Neary. Gift bearers will be Russell’s grandchildren. Casket bearers will be Matthew Schmitz, Mark Schmitz, Josh Axman, Kirby Axman, Bob Sporrer, Gerald “Butch” Golwitzer, Paul Sporrer and Wayne Klocke. Burial will be at St. Joseph Cemetery in Dedham with military honors conducted by the Dedham American Legion.

Friends may call after 5 p.m. Thursday at Sharp Funeral Home in Carroll where there will be a Christian Wake Service at 7 p.m. Visitation at the church will be from 9:30 to 10:15 a.m. Friday.

Online condolences may be left for the Axman family at

Born on Oct. 15, 1931, at Dedham, Iowa, Russell was a son of William “Jim” and Lena (Theulen) Axman. He attended St. Joseph Grade School and later graduated from Carroll High School. Russell served in the U.S. Navy from 1952-1954. While in the Navy he was married to Freda Kasperbauer at the Naval Air Force Base in Norman, Oklahoma. Upon his honorable discharge the couple returned to Dedham.

Russell was employed with Axman Construction, and following the passing of his father, Jim Axman, he became manager of the business. In 1986, Russell and Freda purchased the business, which they owned and operated until their retirement.

Russell served as mayor of Dedham for 26 years and was active with the booster club, Dedham American Legion and St. Joseph Church. He enjoyed trips to the casino and hosting family gatherings, and he loved attending his grandchildren’s activities.

Russell is survived by his wife, Freda Axman, of Dedham; children: Pam Schmitz of Omaha, Bill Axman of Carroll and Terry Axman and fiancée, Lisa Adams, of Carroll; seven grandchildren; five great-grandchildren; sisters: Marcy (John) Cook of Carroll and Carol Ann Axman of Dedham; sister-in-law Sharon Grote of Fonda; as well as other extended relatives and many friends.

He was preceded in death by his parents; son Rick Axman; son-in-law David Schmitz; daughter-in-law Patty Axman; granddaughter Rhonda Downey; grandson Michael Schmitz; and siblings John Axman, Shirley Christensen, Mary Klocke and Joe Axman.