DANTE - Russell Norman Axsom, 81, passed away peacefully on February 10th, 2017. A native of Dante, in the coalfields of Southwest Virginia, Russ was the eldest son of the late Ralph and Ada (Dooley) Axsom. He is survived by his loving wife of 57 years, Paula Ward Axsom, with whom he spent the bulk of his adult life on the Peninsula, where both were employed by Newport News Shipbuilding. As a couple, they led colorful, consequential lives on behalf of the labor movement, working families, their community, and their country. Russ served as President of Local 8888 of the United Steelworkers of America, Vice-President of the Virginia AFL-CIO, and President of the Virginia Peninsula Central Labor Council. He served on the Virginia Equal Employment Opportunity Council, among many leadership positions. A military veteran, he served his country as a MP in the US Air Force. He is preceded in death by his sister, Carolyn (Axsom) Shute; and survived by two sons, Danny (Laura Clark) and Timothy (Faith Saunders) Axsom; three siblings, Betty (Gerald) Begley, Barbara (Joe) Farris, and Ralph Axsom, Jr.; three grandchildren, John Zachary, Katherine, and Jessie Axsom; and many beloved nieces and nephews. Visitation will be held Friday, February 17th from 6-7pm at Weymouth Funeral Home in Newport News. A memorial celebration of his life will be held the following day, Saturday, February 18th at 10am, at the same location, with burial to follow immediately at Peninsula Memorial Park. Flowers are welcomed, as are donations to the Boys & Girls Clubs of America, 1275 Peachtree Street NW, Atlanta GA 30309 ( www.bgca.org ), or Save the Children, 501 Kings Highway East, Suite 400, Fairfield, CT 06825 ( www.savethechildren.org ). Arrangements by Weymouth Funeral Home.
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