Axel Phillip Wicks, of Rising Sun, MD, passed peacefully into the glorious presence of his Lord Jesus on March 11, 2021 surrounded by his family. Born in Brooklyn, NY, January 30, 1940 he was the son of the late Axel F. Wicks and Ragna S. Wicks.
Axel served in the United States Army from January 1959 to October 1982, and retired as a 1SG in the Military Police Corps. His military career began with basic training at Fort Dix, NJ, then continued at Fort Gordon, GA, for Military Police school. From there he went to the Brooklyn Army Terminal in Brooklyn, NY. He met his wife, Inga-Lill, in Brooklyn when she and her sister came to the U.S. from Sweden to visit an uncle.
During an overseas tour with the 709th MP Battalion in Frankfurt, Germany, he visited Inga-Lill’s hometown of Mörbylånga, Sweden, where the couple were engaged and later married. Together they moved to the next duty station with the 59th MP Company in Bremerhaven, Germany, and then on to the 523rd MP Company at Aberdeen Proving Ground in Maryland, where both of their daughters were born. In 1966, Axel was deployed near the DMZ with the 7th MP Company in Dongducheon, South Korea. Accompanied by his family, he returned to the 523rd MP Company in Aberdeen, MD, before beginning his next tour of duty in Germany with the 404th MP Company 4th Armored Division in Göppingen, and then the 501st MP Company, 1st Armored Division, also in Göppingen. From there, the family moved again to the next duty station at Fort Monmouth, NJ, with the 241st MP Company. Another tour overseas took them to Headquarters AFCENT, Military Police, in Brunssum, Holland. Finally, they were back for the third time to Aberdeen, MD, and the 523rd MP Company, where Military Police 1SG Axel Wicks retired from the U.S. Army on October 31, 1982.
Axel was an American Legion Chaplain for almost 25 years. He was Chaplain and Life Member of American Legion Post 194 in Rising Sun, MD, and Chaplain/Aumônier and Life Member for Voiture Locale 1297 in Aberdeen, MD. He also served as Chaplain for VFW Post 465 in Rising Sun, MD, and was a member of BPOE 1564 (Elks) for 46 years. He was a member of the Board and Chaplain for the 709th MP Battalion Association.
After retiring from the U.S. Army, Axel held a Private Detective license in the state of Maryland while employed with Burns International Security Services. He also held a license for Life & Health Insurance Sales and Services in the state of Maryland, as well as being a Notary Public.
What started out as helping out a friend with a school bus route, turned into 15 years as a school bus driver, which he really enjoyed. One look at him and the kids knew he meant business. He knew how to keep order, but also did special things for the kids on his bus like handing out flags on Flag Day. He was an American Patriot and wanted to share his love of country with the next generation. He received many notes of appreciation from parents, and special treats and cards from the kids. Those made his day!
In his spare time, Axel enjoyed many hobbies and was an avid collector. He enjoyed carpentry, decoy carving, gardening, and ceramics to name a few. Many family members and friends have benefitted from his generosity and skill with his handmade collectibles.
He epitomized “For God and Country”. A life-long Christian, most recently worshipping at Mt. Pleasant United Methodist Church in Colora, MD, Axel purposed to share his faith in Christ. It would be interesting to know how many little silver “cross in my pocket” crosses he has handed out in his lifetime and how many lives were touched. He also wrote the Chaplain’s message in the American Legion newsletter and ministered to countless more writing notes and sending cards when they were sick or bereaved. His wife, Inga-Lill, worked alongside him in these efforts.
Axel is survived by his loving wife of 59 years, Inga-Lill (Jonsson) Wicks; daughter, JoAnn Wicks and granddaughter, Amanda Wicks; daughter, Deborah (Wicks) Senn and her husband, Brian Senn; three grandsons and their families; Ethan and Paige Senn (Nelie, James, and Augustine), Zachary and Emilee Senn (Rylee), and Kyle and Megan Senn. He is also survived by his sister and her family, Phyllis and Christian Elliott.
A memorial service and interment in the Arlington National Cemetery of Arlington, VA, will be held at a later date.
In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions may be made to Mt. Pleasant United Methodist Church, 1713 Liberty Grove Rd, Colora, MD 21917; Amedisys Foundation (Hospice) 3854 American Way, Suite A, Baton Rouge, LA 70816; American Legion Honor Guard Post 194 338 E. Main St. Rising Sun, MD 21911.
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