1914 Ralph Elliot AxtellBorn: Mar. 29, 1914 in Bainbridge, Chenango County, New York Died: Oct. 17, 1992 at Amherst, Massachusetts He was buried Oct. 21, 1992 at Greenlawn Cemetery, Bainbridge NY. His father was Charles Elliot Axtell. His mother was Olive J. Whitaker. He was married May 10, 1936 to Leta Mae Sherman. They had four children: Yvonne Alice Axtell born Oct. 12, 1944 in Biloxi, Miss. Betty Jean Axtell born Nov. 30, 1946 in Bainbridge, NY Mary Louise Axtell born Aug. 31, 1951 in Bainbridge, NY Carol Ann Axtell born Apr. 3, 1955 in Bainbridge, NY In 1944 Ralph was serving in the Army Air Corps at Keesler Army Base near Biloxi, Mississippi. --Info from family members; research by Millie Lockwood. Our cousin Wilford told us this story about Ralph: One day Ralph and Leta were visiting at the Sherman homestead for the holidays. It was very cold at the time and there was a lot of snow on the ground. Ralph decided that he was going to ski down the hill behind the house, using old-fashioned skis with only a step-in type toe binding and a leather strap to hold them onto the feet. He hiked up the hill (about 300 yards), and opened the stock gate in the fence so he could ski through it. The driveway behind the house was not plowed, but the main road below the house was plowed...straight down the hill came Ralph, going so fast it made his eyes water; through the fence, across the driveway, between the house and barn...until he hit the main road... at which point the skis stopped, but he did not...thus he became airborne, and flew clear across the road and the ditch beyond it, and landed just short of the tree line! When he came back to the house, there were two lines of ice where the tears had frozen to his face...amazingly, he was unhurt, but I don't believe he ever tried that one again! NOTE: this would have been in the late 1930's. I think we can infer from this story that Ralph was a bit of a daredevil! Below is a photo of their four children: Vonnie (Yvonne), Mary, Carol, and Betty.
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