Henning Gran AxelsenJanuary 27, 1933 ~ August 20, 2017 (age 84)
Henning Gran Axelsen, age 84, passed away peacefully at his home in Viera, Florida on August 20th, at 11:20PM, with his wife and several members of his family praying by his side. Henning, better known as Richard or Dick to most, was born in Bay Ridge Brooklyn, NY. He married the love of his life Kathryn Louise DeYoung, also known as Kay, in Huntington Long Island on November 21, 1956, and they have been happily married for over 61 years! Dick and Kay settled into their home in Smithtown for 30+ years where they raised four very cool children. When they retired to Viera, FL in 1998, they traveled back to Long Island many summer seasons to enjoy living on their sailboat in Greenport Long Island.
Richard served in the U.S. Navy during the Korean War from 1950-1954. He was assigned to Fighter Squadron 191 on the Princeton, and then to the electronic division of the aircraft carrier Oriskany for active duty in the Sea of Japan. After his honorable discharge he attended Kansas University and then transferred to Hofstra University where he received his BS in Electrical Engineering.
Richard had a distinguished career within the fire alarm and security industry, quickly working his way up to Vice President of AFA Protective Systems. In the late 70’s he joined Casey Sound Systems as President & CEO, starting a fire alarm division that became prominent and highly regarded in the NYC market. Later, that division would be taken public as Firetector Inc., which would ultimately be sold to Firecom Inc.. He was well known and respected within the construction industry, beloved by his colleagues, employees & customers, and highly regarded by the New York City Fire Department. To many he was more of a father and mentor than an employer!
Richard’s interests included playing basketball in high school, where Kay secretly cheered for him on the sidelines before they fell in love. He spent many years bowling with family and friends as a member of the RECO club in Huntington. When the children grew up he and Kay enjoyed golfing together, especially at Nissequogue golf club, and they traveled with friends and family to many destinations in the United States and around the world. His passion for sailing the Long Island Sound and Connecticut Rivers as Captain Dick with his First Mate Kay, family and friends was where he flourished, and hosting a good hearty meal and fun gathering was his favorite hobby overall.
The true joys of Richard’s existence were his wife and family, which included many dear friends. He lived a life of love, integrity, thoughtfulness and generosity to all, regardless of background or circumstance. Richard’s positive attitude during medical challenges in his later years was fueled by His love for Jesus and the hope He provides. The light of Richard’s faith shined brightly to everyone he came into contact with. His strength and commitment to live as long as he could for Kay was honored by his Heavenly Father through prayers from many, and also through the support of an incredible team of care givers. His family is eternally grateful.
Richard will be lovingly remembered and deeply missed by his wife of 61 years Kay, his
children Karen (Jeff), Peter (Maria), Ellen (Bud), and Richard (Kathy), and his
grandchildren Kristen (Steve), Meagan (Andrew), Katie (Zach), Will, Kirsten, Lexi, Rich,
JP, Maggie, Caroline and Tyler.
He was preceded in death by his sister Alfhild, his father Rolf, and his mother Borghild.
Richard’s memorial service will be held at Beckman-Williamson Funeral Homes at 1PM
on Sunday September 3, 2017, and visitation prior to the service will be available at
12noon. 5400 Village Drive Viera, FL 32955, 321.635.1973.
In lieu of flowers, you are welcome to make contributions to Hospice of St Francis, Viera,
Florida via link http://www.hosfcf.org/donate, or to Faith Viera Lutheran Church ministries
via mailing address 5550 Faith Drive, Rockledge, FL 32955.