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Dr. Clayton Axthelm, 92 - October 15, 2008


Dr. Clayton August Axthelm, 92, long-time Riverton dentist, formerly of Gothenburg, died Sunday, Oct. 5, 2008, at Missoula, MT.
Memorial services were held Saturday, Oct. 11, at the United Methodist Church of Riverton. Inurnment followed at Mountain View Cemetery at Riverton with Military Honors by the Wyoming Army National Guard.
Axthelm was born in Martell on Oct. 16, 1915, the son of Elmer A. Axthelm and Grace (Graham) Axthelm, and a fraternal twin brother of Cecil A. Axthelm.
He moved with his parents to Gothenburg during his elementary school years and graduated from Gothenburg High School in 1933.
After several years of employment, Axthelm enrolled at the University of Nebraska in a pre-dental course. He graduated from the University of Nebraska Dental College with the degree of Doctor of Dental Surgery (D.D.S.), in 1945. He ranked first in his class and was offered a position as an instructor of operative dentistry in the dental college where he worked for two years, 1945-1947.
On Jan. 5, 1947, he was united in marriage to Marjorie Jane Adams at St. Paul Methodist Church in Lincoln. To this union, three children were born—Steve, 1948; Paul, 1951; and Jane, 1952.
Deciding to enter private practice, he and his wife moved to Riverton in 1948, where he worked as a dentist until 1990 at the age of 75.
Dr. Axthelm was joined by his brother, Dr. Norris Axthelm, in the early 1950’s and they shared an office in the Masonic Temple Building in Riverton for over 40 years, where their patients became their good friends, according to family members.
From 1951 to 1953, Dr. Axthelm served as a captain in the U.S. Air Force. Upon completion of military service, he returned to Riverton to resume his dental practice.
His many activities were in line with the progress of Riverton. He was a member of the Fremont District 25-Riverton School Board for six years. He served as president of the Lions Club, and served two terms on the Wyoming Board of Dental Examiners. He was also a life-member of the Wyoming Dental Association, and a member of the University of Nebraska Dental Alumnae.
Dr. Axthelm had been a member of the Riverton Methodist Church since 1948 and served on many boards and committees.
He was an active supporter of sporting events in Riverton and the surrounding communities, receiving a plaque for being an outstanding fan of all sports.
Axthelm enjoyed fishing and camping with his family at Colter Bay on Jackson Lake, where the family gathered several times each year, and he also enjoyed woodworking and “fixing things,” said family members.
He was preceded in death by: his parents, Elmer and Grace; two brothers—Kenneth Axthelm and Cecil Axthelm.
Survivors include: his wife, Marjorie Axthelm of Riverton; sons—Dr. Steve (Judi) Axthelm of Grand Junction, CO, and Dr. Paul (Danelle) Axthelm of Riverton; a daughter, Jane (Dale) Mrkich of Missoula; nine grandchildren and two great-grandchildren; sisters—Ethel VanWey of Gothenburg and Mildred Umshler of Cozad; brothers—Dr. Norris Axthelm of Riverton and Glen Axthelm of North Platte.
Memorials are suggested to the Riverton United Methodist Church, 1116 West Park, Riverton, WY 82501.
On-line condolences may be shared with the family at: thedavisfuneralhome.com.

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