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Tuesday, July 16, 2024

Obituary – Dr. Gary L. Axley (1946-2021)

Arkansas River Valley Business Directory

Dr. Gary Lee “Doc” Axley was born on the 14th July 1946 in Tulsa Oklahoma. Doc passed away unexpectedly on the 19th of August 2021.

He is survived by his loving and devoted wife Debbie; sisters Judy Robertson and Barbara Jo Fox, three children Kimberly Axley, Angela Estrada, and Lt Col Gary Axley, USAF; three stepsons, Robert, Donnie, and Jeremiah Childers; sixteen grandchildren and two great-grandchildren. Additionally, Doc left behind many esteemed colleagues and close personal friends. Doc was preceded in death by his father, Arthur “Junior” Axley of Claremore OK, and his mother, Alma Douglas.

Doc is a veteran of the Vietnam War. He served honorably and valiantly in the Marine Corps (Semper Fi), achieving the rank of Lance Corporal. Doc was the epitome of patriotism, integrity, and compassion; he placed great value on these traits and upheld them in all aspects of his life. Doc was a board-certified Doctor of Oriental and Naturopathic medicine in the states of West Virginia, Oklahoma, and North Carolina. He treated thousands of patients with emphasis on the naturopathic treatment of cancer and catastrophic illnesses. He was the Founder and Professor at the Arkansas College of Natural Health, imparting his vast knowledge of naturopathic medicine to other medical professionals. Additionally, he was instrumental in founding the Arkansas Board of Oriental Medicine and Acupuncture, successfully lobbying for the advancement of the profession.

Compassion and humanitarian acts were a way of life for Doc Axley and a guiding principle he lived by. Doc loved to help people, and in the aftermath of hurricanes Katrina and Rita, Doc Axley, in collaboration with the Waldron community, was vital in assisting 300 evacuees in acquiring housing, clothing, food and medical care. In addition, he was instrumental in the efforts to locate and reunite lost loved ones.

Anyone that met Doc remembered him. He was the center of attention in any room; his charisma, stories, and jesting brought joy to so many. Doc loved raising cattle and in his downtime, he and Debbie retreated to their ranch to enjoy the beautiful countryside. Doc was larger than life and his legacy will live forever through the many lives he touched and changed.

Doc’s visitation will be 10:00 a.m. to 11:00 a.m. Monday at the Rye Hill Baptist Church.

Doc’s celebration of life will be at the Rye Hill Baptist Church Monday, August 30th at 11 am. This will be followed by a graveside service, with full military honors at Ft. Smith National Cemetery at 2 p.m. All are invited to attend. In lieu of flowers, please make donations to Marine Corps Toys for Tots at https://www.toysfortots.org/donate/

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