Friday, June 24, 2016
1:00 PM EDT
Paw Paw Eagles
63237 M0-40 Highway
Lawton, MI 49024
At the family's request memorial contributions are to be made to those listed below. Please forward payment directly to the memorial of your choice.
Below is the contact information for a florist recommended by the funeral home.
Life Story / Obituary
A kind, giving, and outgoing man, Arden “Art” Saxton brought such happiness to those around him. He could tell the best stories and knew nearly everything about the community he loved, and his zest for life was easy to see. Art shared the majority of his life with his true love, and together they witnessed their family tree blossom to include numerous loved ones who were his greatest source of pride and joy. He was a hardworking man, but he also knew how to kick back and enjoy life along the way as well. Art will be forever missed.
Life during the 1930s was anything but easy as the entire decade was cloaked in the hardship of the Great Depression. Jobs were scarce and nearly every American family felt the strain as cities, communities, and families came together to do whatever they could to weather the storm. Things only grew from bad to worse when a drought covered our nation’s heartland for nearly two years during the peak of the most difficult days. Despite the circumstances around them, Huck and Doris Saxton, a young couple from Mattawan, Michigan, was pleased to announce the birth of the baby boy they named Arden on February 25, 1938. He was the oldest of six Saxton children and experienced a fairly typical childhood during his youngest years. Art’s father was a farmer who also owned a gravel pit and hauled gravel. As was common, Art helped out around the farm as they had pigs, cows, and chickens, and he spent countless hours baling hay. He also knew how to eat and loved his mother’s cooking.
Daily life became unimaginably difficult for Art in the blink of an eye when he was just a young boy of 15. His family was bringing him lunch at work and were all involved in a severe car accident that took the lives of both of his parents. Although he had been a student at Mattawan schools, Art soon dropped out of school. This experience had a profound impact on his life and was difficult to overcome. A short time later, he started working at a millwright at Allied Paper.
New and exciting changes were in store for Art when he discovered his true love. He had known the Kimble girls since he was a young boy, but it was when he got a bit older that he began dating Dixie. Art also helped on the Kimble farm in Mattawan. Their love grew, and with a desire to spend the rest of their lives together the sweethearts were married at the Van Buren courthouse on October 19, 1958. The couple soon became parents, and together they were blessed to welcome four children including Ray, Randy, Ricky, and Rhonda into their hearts and home. Art took his role as provider to heart as he put in many hours and Dixie also worked hard while raising their children and working as a Custodian for Mattawan Schools for over 40 years. Art was a meat and potatoes guy, which Dixie was happy to accommodate. She always made family style meals and nothing was allowed to go to waste.
Throughout his journey Art was one to keep busy. He loved the outdoors, especially fishing and hunting, and he was also an avid mushroom hunter as he went up to Drummond Island every week when they were in season. Around home Art was often out tinkering in his garage as he was always restoring something. He also put dual exhaust on his mower. He was primarily a Ford guy, although he did restore a Monte Carlo. Even after retiring from Allied Paper after more than 40 years, Art continued to work installing ceramic tile with Charlie Bloomfield for almost 10 years. With farming in his blood he always had a vegetable garden that to this day his sons have carried on. He spent time playing cards with his family every weekend, and back in the day he was a Pabst Blue Ribbon and Hams beer guy. For the past seven years Art met his nephews at the truck stop for coffee at six a.m. It really isn’t all that surprising that he liked classic country western music, and he also liked listening to bagpipes. Art was a NASCAR fan whose favorite driver was Dale Earnhardt, Jr. while Dixie was a Jimmy Johnson fan. It wasn’t until recently that Art went to the doctor and was diagnosed with stage four cancer that was all over his body as he was never one to go to the doctor over the years.
Although he was known for his strong work ethic, his willingness to help anyone, and his memory that was like a steel trap, it was his unending love for his family that will be Arden Saxton’s greatest legacy. He could be bitter at times, yet he also had a heart of gold and an ability to talk like no other. Quite a character, Art lived life to the fullest, and his gentle and gracious spirit made him someone others wanted to know. Deeply loved, he will never be forgotten.
Arden Ray Saxton, of Mattawan, died June 18, 2016. Art’s family includes his wife, Dixie (Kimble) Saxton; 4 children: Ray, Randy, Ricky and Rhonda Saxton; 4 grandchildren: Nick, Nate, Kali and Kolton; great-grandson, Beckham; siblings: Carl (Joanie) Saxton, Pat (Tom) Pfannes and Maxine (Gene) Barker; and many nieces and nephews. Art was preceded in death by 2 siblings: Virgil Saxton and Jerry Woodruff. Cremation will take place. Visit with family and friends while sharing food and refreshments on Friday June 24th beginning at 1 PM at the Paw Paw Eagles, 63237 M-40 Hwy. Please visit Art’s personal web page at www.lifestorynet.com, where you can archive a favorite memory or photo and sign his online guestbook. Memorial contributions may be made to Hospice Care of Southwest Michigan. Life Story Funeral Home, Betzler & Thompson-Paw Paw, 60900 M-40; 657-3870.