Charlene Leong ’66 Axelrod
Dr. Eugene and Mrs. Charlene Axelrod, of Plymouth, Michigan, died May 20 and May 14, 2017, respectively; both of cancer.
Dr. Axelrod was born in Indianapolis, Indiana to the late Jack and Bessie Axelrod. In his lifelong pursuit of knowledge he earned degrees in mathematics, chemistry, medicine, and business from the University of Michigan, the University of Connecticut, Harvard University, and Stanford University. He was a chemist at Arthur D. Little and Merck before transitioning to medicine, where he became double board-certified in anesthesiology and emergency medicine.
Mrs. Axelrod was born in Wailuku, Maui to the late Charles and Annie Leong. This courageous ‘island girl’ journeyed to Michigan for college, where she graduated from Hope College with majors in English and German. She later earned her master’s degree in Asian-American Studies from Seton Hall University. She retired from teaching middle-school English to raise her children.
Dr. and Mrs. Axelrod met in New York attending Chinese language classes together. After marriage they led an adventurous life with stops in France, Belgium, Connecticut, Oregon, Michigan, California, Idaho, and Iowa before returning to finally settle in Michigan in 2000. They loved to travel, hike, backpack and constantly learn, especially exploring other cuisines and languages. Their favorite places included the Grand Canyon, Glacier National Park, Hawaii, France, and Argentina. They were devoted parents and grandparents: funny, brilliant, compassionate, supportive and loving. They are deeply missed.
They are survived by son and daughter-in-law Dr. and Mrs. Robert and Chau Axelrod; daughter and son-in-law Dr. Deborah Axelrod and Mr. John Shreck; grandchildren Naomi and Noah Axelrod, and Samuel and Hannah Shreck; and siblings and -in-laws Dr. Linda Golumbia; Dr. Richard Axelrod; Alvin and Ernelle Leong; and Ronald and Pamela Leong.
Inurnment was at Nuuanu Memorial Park in Honolulu, Hawaii. Contributions may be directed to Grand Canyon Association, PO Box 399, Grand Canyon, AZ 86023