I should have posted this update a long time ago, but have been away from the research for a while.
I do find in the Superior Court Minutes of Yancey County for 1881-1890 that Axey apparently finally filed for divorce in 1889. In the same group of minutes are various legal proceedings brought by her grown sons against their father John Henry; wouldn't be surprised if her older boys didn't encourage her to finally divorce the old scoundrel at the same time they were going after him!
I extrapolated her DOD from the last official recording (1889) and her son David's marriage license wherein he states his mother is deceased (1902).
I have not been able to discover where Axey is buried. John is buried up at Ogle Meadows, apparently all by himself. If anyone has even the slightest hint about where she may be buried it would be greatly appreciated.
Axey was the daughter of Rev. Samuel Honeycutt and Bridget Hampton. John was the son of Rev. John Wheeler and Rhoda Ray.