1934 - 2017
Richardson (Tick) Chaddon Axtell, 82, of Boise died June 30 at home. Tick was born July 12, 1934 in Cottonwood, Idaho to Donald and Frances Axtell. He spent his early childhood in a log cabin in the mountains of Idaho near Lucile. At the beginning of World War II, the family moved to San Francisco where Tick graduated from Lowell High School and San Francisco State University. He joined the army and was a Korean War Veteran. He married his childhood sweetheart, Sally Arquette, in San Francisco and together they had two sons, Alex and Nick. They later divorced. In 1977, he married his soulmate, Shelley, and added Scott and Christine Griffin to his family.
Tick began his teaching career in San Francisco at Pelton Junior High. In 1961, he moved to Idaho where he taught art, pottery, photography, industrial arts, computer aided drafting and coached tennis at Nampa and Borah High. He retired from teaching in 1997.
Tick was one of the founders of the Boise Racquet and Swim Club in 1967. He was a lifelong tennis player and held a national ranking in his 40's.
Tick was an avid photographer and in retirement bought antique cameras to sell at their business at the Antique World Mall. Each summer he looked forward to the Shakespeare Festival and had attended every season since its inception with Shelley. Tick loved politics and activism in general and specifically when it involved issues of equality. He worked on Frank Church's first campaign and was extremely active in President Obama's Boise campaign. Tick and Shelley were in the first group to be arrested in the Add the Four Words Campaign. After Shelley retired from teaching, they traveled thousands of miles in their small motorhome with their dogs to 49 states and the Canadian Provinces. They were saving for a trip to Hawaii this fall for a wedding and to complete the 50 states. Best of all he enjoyed spring trips to the Adobe on the Oregon Coast where they had gone for 39 years and fall trips to Redfish Lake and Upper Payette Lake where the dogs could swim, play and hike. In the past 5 years, Tick found peace and intellectual stimulation in the Shin Buddhist teachings. He attended the Boise Sangha each week and was a member of the Idaho-Oregon Buddhist Temple in Ontario. Together with Shelley, Tick took his passion for dogs to the Idaho Humane Society's prison training program, IDAPI. He will always be remembered with the New Yorker or the newspaper in hand, drinking coffee at the Flying M, or enjoying precious time with his family and those whom he made part of his family.
His adventurous spirit, humanistic ideals, keen sense of social justice, reverence for nature, and enthusiasm for life will be dearly missed, but will live on in all of us.
Tick was preceded in death by his parents and beloved dog, Bart. He leaves his wife, Shelley; three sons, Alex Axtell (Michelle) of Boise, Nick Arquette (Megan) of Manhattan Beach and Scott Griffin (Denise) Albuquerque; one daughter, Christine Griffin (Eric) Baltimore; two granddaughters, Marin Axtell of Boise and Sydney Axtell (Hannah) of Boise; two brothers, Larry (Lucretia) of San Francisco and Don (Glayne) of Comox, BC, Canada; three nephews, Matthew (son, Sam) of Washington, DC, Robert (Rose) of Oklahoma City and Michael of San Francisco, and his faithful dogs Biscuit and Jade.
If you wish to donate, Tick would have liked: Idaho Humane Society-IDAPI, 4775 Dorman St, Boise, Idaho 83705 or Walk With Sally, 840 Apollo Street, Suite 324, El Segundo,CA, 90245 or Alex Axtell's Art Class, Education Foundation of the West Ada School District, 1303 East Central Drive, Meridian, ID 83642.
Cremation was done by Accent Funeral Home, Meridian. Remembrances may be left on their website. A casual open house celebration of Tick's life will be held on July 16, 2017 from 3:30-6:00 at the Berryhill Bacon Restaurant, Downtown Boise.
Published in Idaho Statesman from July 4 to July 12, 2017