Helping families celebrate a life lived.


Services & Obituaries

Joyce Watson
July 20, 1923 ~
November 15, 2017
Date of Service: November 21, 2017

Lou Ann Westlake
September 26, 1927 ~
November 04, 2017
Date of Service: November 25, 2017

Bruce Brock
October 1, 1929 ~
November 19, 2017

Lawrence Ostermiller
November 6, 1934 ~
November 19, 2017

Terry Johnson
Date of Death: November 17, 2017

John Woten
December 17, 1942 ~
November 16, 2017

Marvin Lefens
October 15, 1924 ~
November 16, 2017

Barbara Wertz
July 21, 1931 ~
November 16, 2017

Margaret Mackin
May 24, 1926 ~
November 15, 2017


Axel Short

March 4, 1989 ~ March 02, 2017

Service: March 23, 2017 2:00 PM
   Location: Pilgrim Congregational Church

Axel Forrest Short passed away in Bozeman, Montana, Thursday March 2, 2017. This happened two days shy of his 28th birthday due to complications from chronic kidney disease.

Axel was born March 4, 1989, at Livingston Memorial Hospital, joining two older brothers.

Axel grew up as a strong-willed kid, and always maintained his 100 mph cruising speed. In fact he was so fast that at four years old he won the NASTAR downhill ski race Montana State title.  As Axel grew older he continued to excel on the ski hill and enjoyed participating in numerous outdoor activities always trying to outdo his older brothers.   He loved his many animals most recently his Golden Retriever dog, Toeby.

At age 13 he encountered the first major speed bump of his young life. While on a trip with his family and friends, rafting down the Colorado River through the Grand Canyon, he contracted salmonella blood poisoning and had to be airlifted out with his mother alongside.

Thus began a long battle to live an ordinary life while maintaining his health from chronic kidney failure. Axel never allowed this small “distraction” to interfere with his quest for life. He went on to not only participate in varsity soccer, but was named by his teammates as the team captain his junior and senior year.  At 6’6” he had a slide tackle that was known around the state.

Despite being in and out of the ER, and constantly battling sickness, Axel graduated from Bozeman High School in 2007.  After graduation, Axel worked at Cardinal  Distributing for four years.

June 16, 2010, Natalie Lane, an ANGEL, longtime friend, two time prom date, and an honorary Short daughter and sister, blessed Axel with a new shot at a healthy life. On this day, Natalie donated her kidney to Axel and we all watched things turn for the better. He once again enjoyed living a hospital free life visiting his brothers at college, spending time in Costa Rica with friends, and pursued a future in the medical field at Montana State University.

In 2016, he went into kidney failure again, and was back fighting every day to live a normal life. Axel lived and went through more in his short 27 years than most people will have to endure in a lifetime.

Axel was preceded in death by his uncle, Brad Kolberg of Glendive, Montana and his grandparents, Janet and Frank Short.

He is survived by his parents, John Short and Cindy Kolberg of Bozeman, Montana; his grandparents, Gertrude and Gordon Kolberg, of Glendive, Montana; uncles Greg Kolberg, Guy Kolberg and fiancé Vickie Crane of Glendive, Montana, uncle Darren Kolberg of Three Forks, Montana, aunt Cheryl Kolberg and partner Maggie Copeland of Glendive, Montana; as well as numerous cousins around the state. He is also survived by his Aunt Margee Short of Fort Collins, Colorado, and Aunt Nancy and husband Rob Blazer of Stevenson, Washington.  He is also survived by his comrades in arms, older brothers Michael and Ryan Short.  

Axel Forrest Short… his name rings proud, but pales in comparison to the strength of his true character.  Always remember, that while his life may have been determined by his kidney condition, he never allowed it to define HIM!

We will ache from the void left by this gentle giant.

Memorials in Axel’s name may be made to The Gift of Life Transplant House, 705 2nd Street SW, Rochester, MN 55902,  The Heart of the Valley Animal Shelter, PO Box 11390, Bozeman, MT 59719 or to the charity of one’s choice.

Services will be held at Pilgrim Congregational United Church, 2118 S 3rd Ave, Bozeman, Montana, on Thursday, March 23 at 2 pm, with a reception to follow.


[Printable Version]

Online Condolences for Axel | Return to Obituaries

Pre-planning information
Family Feedback

"You blew us away with everything you did for us.  Thank you so much."

~ Freeland Family
News & Events

9 Weeks:  Starts 9/19/17, 5:30pm

Click to Request Your Free Guidebook

NEWS RELEASE: Have the Talk of a Lifetime
November 19 ~ 2pm & 6:30pm

Jim Mitchell Honored for 50 Years in the Funeral Industry
MFDA Recognizes 50-Year Commitment at State Convention

EYES OF FREEDOM MEMORIAL: May 29 to June 1, 2014
Honoring Those Who've Answered the Call to Service


© 2003-2017 Dokken-Nelson Funeral Service & Crematory. All rights reserved. 113 S. Willson Ave. | Bozeman, MT 59715 | 406.587.3184