John L. Saxhaug, lifelong resident of Grand Rapids, died peacefully at his home on Wednesday, Oct. 10, 2001.
He was born Sept. 4, 1922, at Grand Rapids, where he grew up and attended school. He graduated from Grand Rapids High School in 1940, and attended Carleton College. John served with the 741st Tank Battalion in World War II, was a veteran of the Battle of the Bulge, and received the Purple Heart. He was united in marriage to Virginia West in Mora on Sept. 28, 1946. He worked in insurance, real estate, and finance businesses, and in 1972 founded the John L. Saxhaug Company, Inc. His final and most enjoyable job was as a greeter at Target. He was a lifelong member of Community Presbyterian Church where he had served as elder and trustee. He was past president of Grand Rapids Area Chamber of Commerce, past president of the Rotary, past commander of McVeigh-Dunn American Legion Post No. 60, and served on the boards of directors of Northland Mental Health, Hope House and H.E.A.R.T. Early in his career, he received the Jaycees’ Distinguished Service Award.
He is survived by Ginny, his wife of 55 years; two sons, Tom (Nancy) of Grand Rapids, and John of St. Paul; one daughter, Ann Saxhaug (David Beghly) of Golden Valley; grandchildren Susan Saxhaug of St. Paul; Timothy Saxhaug of the University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire, Wis.; Chloe Helland, Madison, Wis.; Jan Saxhaug, Luther College, Decorah, Iowa; Anitra (Allen) Payne, Lino Lakes; Justin Beghly, Bloomington; one great-grandchild, Taylor Payne; a sister, Catherine (Gerald) Anderson; and sister-in-law, Barbara West, both of Scottsdale, Ariz.; three nieces and two nephews.
Memorial service: Saturday, Oct. 13, at 11 a.m. in Community Presbyterian Church, Grand Rapids. Memorials are preferred to Community Presbyterian Church and Hope House.
Burial: Itasca-Calvary Cemetery, Grand Rapids, with military honors.
Arrangements are by Libbey Funeral Home, Grand Rapids.