ONTARIO — Axella Stephen, of Ontario, celebrated her 95th birthday on Friday, and at the same time was honored for her service during World War II.

Also honored at the same time was her son, Jeff Stephen, a Vietnam War veteran.

The honor came from Heart ‘n Home Hospice and Palliative Care. The company has been holding Veteran Pinning and Recognition Ceremonies since 2007, and has honored hundreds of veterans since then in recognition for their service. The pins are American flags.

On hand for the ceremony and birthday party, among other family members, was her son Axel Stephen. Another son, Stuart Stephen, is out of the country.

According to a 2013 article in The Argus Observer, Axella Stephen left home in Apple Valley, Idaho, and joined the WAVES — Women Accepted for Volunteer Emergency Service — during the war effort, doing office work at Farragut Naval Station in Farragut, Idaho. Axella had signed up for the duration of the war plus six months, and the war ended two years after she enlisted.

She is a retired beautician.

Jeff is a Marine Veteran, who served a tour in Vietnam in 1972 and 1973.

After coming home, he did some ranch work but then drove a truck for 30 years, he said.

He was the recipient of a double-lung transplant about nine years ago, number 150 at the time, he said, and remains fairly healthy despite other medical issues. He continues to live in the Cow Hollow area southwest of Nyssa.


Larry Meyer is a reporter for the Argus Observer.

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