Roger Axtell, age 80, of Janesville, died unexpectedly on Sunday, February 26, 2012, while wintering in Scottsdale, Ariz.
Roger was born in Kenosha but has resided in Janesville since 1956. He graduated from the University of Wisconsin-Madison in 1953. He spent two years in the Army and then worked for Sears and Roebuck before moving to Janesville with the Parker Pen Company. He worked at Parker for more than 30 years and was named Vice President of International Marketing in 1974. He and his family moved to England in 1963 and returned to Janesville in 1967.
Axtell was active in his city and state, serving on the Board of the Janesville Public Library, State Historical Society and was involved in Forward Janesville and many other civic organizations. He received a Lifetime Achievement Award in 2008. After retiring in 1987, he was appointed by two Governors as special assistant for Business. Governor Thompson appointed Roger to the UW Board of Regents in 1999-2006. After that time, he was appointed to the Board of the UW Hospital - serving on that board until his death.
Roger was a longtime supporter of UW-Madison and an avid Badgers fan. He was a sought after public speaker and wrote 10 books on international business and etiquette. Despite his many accomplishments, he was proudest of his three children and six grandchildren. Roger tried to live his life according his father’s advice - which was: "do your job and a little bit more."
Roger is survived by his wife, Mitzi Forsyth Axtell; children, Mardi Burns (Frank), Kathi McBride and Roger F. Axtell (Kim); and six grandchildren.
A memorial service celebrating his life will be held at a later time. Memorials may be made in his name to the University of Wisconsin Foundation-Madison or Agrace HospiceCare Inc., Janesville.