Dora Mae (Lancaster) Axsom
Dora Axsom passed from this life into her eternal life on July 3, 2018 as a result of a scalding accident on Memorial Day. She was born to Erra and Bryan Lancaster, November 21, 1931 in Ryan, Oklahoma. Bryan left a very broken hearted Erra to raise Dora on her own.
In 1937, Erra married Frank Burghardt who raised wheat and cattle west of Canton. While living there, Dora and Erra sold eggs and milk to get spending money. Dora attended Leonel School, then later Canton Public Schools, where she graduated high school. For entertainment, she would attend community dances with her parents.
Dora later met Archie Taylor at a cookout, they were married in 1949. They attended Phillips University and while attending school, they had their first child, Nancy in 1951. A couple of years later a second child came, Dennis Lane Taylor. He lived only a short time and died in infancy. They received their Bachelor’s degrees from Phillips University. They began teaching at Cleo Springs, Oklahoma. She taught Speech, Drama, English and Home Economics. He taught Biology, History and was a coach. At the time Dennis died, Archie was called into the ministry, so he entered the Phillips Seminary. They worked and served in the Christian Church as well as the Methodist Church.
In 1963 Dora applied for and received a scholarship to get a Master’s in Counseling. Over the years she then became a counselor for the Bethany, Shawnee, Strother, and Norman school systems. After several years they grew apart and later divorced. Later she met Jim Stringfield and they married, but he only lived a few years and passed away with Alzheimer’s. Dora started and organized the first Alzheimer’s Support Group group, meeting at McFarlin Memorial United Methodist Church in Norman. After she retired from Norman Public Schools she wrote two books – “Mountain Mama” and “No Lace For Cricket”. Erra did the remembering and Dora did the writing. They were the stories of her mother and grandmother, in hard times before WWII, in northern Arkansas and southern Missouri.
Dora met Ralph Axsom in 1985 and they were married later the same year. They enjoyed traveling, promoting Dora’s books and listening to Big Band music and dancing at the O Club at OU, they especially liked it when Ax’s daughter Linda and son-in-law, Don Bassett would go with them. Dora enjoyed watching “Ax” play and teach tennis. He also played in tournaments. He was a very good and kind person, who did many acts of kindness for all kinds of people. They enjoyed their lives very much, but in their older years they moved to an assisted living facility, because of failing health. During her life, Dora loved to decorate, sew, go to concerts, and plays. She loved to visit family members and write the family history. She lived the last three years living in Fairview, Oklahoma. The last two years she lived with her daughter Nancy and her husband, Mark Saladino.
Dora is survived by her daughter, Nancy Saladino and husband Mark; her husband’s children, Kay Thomas, Linda Bassett and husband Don, Cindy Fry and husband Kevin, Matt Axsom and wife Sarah, and Mitch Axsom and wife Sherry; Sister In-law, Mary Smith, many grandchildren, great grandchildren, nieces, nephews and other family members. She is preceded in death by her parents; her husbands, Archie Taylor, Jim Stringfield, and Ralph Axsom, and her brother Tommy Burghardt.
We would like to thank all the caregivers for this part in caring for Dora, especially Crystal Nelson and Michelle Corkery.
Dora’s care has been placed with Havenbrook Funeral Home. Viewing will be Friday, July 6, 2018 from 3-8p.m. at Havenbrook Funeral Home. Services will be held on Saturday, July 7, 2018 at 10:00a.m. at Havenbrook Funeral Home Chapel with Reverend Dan Peil and Reverend Phil Fenn officiating. Interment will follow at Sunset Memorial Park Cemetery.