William R. Akins’s heart was ultimately healed on March 15, 2022. It may not have been the way we wanted, but our Heavenly Father knows far more than even our earthly father did, so we are assured that it was in the way that was best.
He leaves behind a truly grateful family. His wife Phyllis is of course grieving, but with the memories of 60 years of marriage and the comforting assurance of an eternity to come, though hopefully he can wait a bit for her to catch up with him. As said, they were married for what would have been 61 years next June, and could not have been a better example of faithfulness and love through all types of highs and lows of life. The life that they shared was an example to all who know them.
Their oldest (just don’t tell her that!) daughter Beth and her husband Frank Batista gave him two much-beloved granddaughters, Abigail and Lydia, to work in the yard with, dote on, and generally cause Beth to wonder what happened to her dad, and where that teddy bear came from. They also gave him a great-grand dog Koda who gave him a lot of fun in his final days. They lived in the family house above Mom and Dad for the last several years, and were able to share a lot of blessings. They were able as well to BE a blessing, especially as Dad’s health declined, in ways that are beyond counting; such as by helping with maintenance, taxi service, and just being there.
His middle son Ken and wife Joanne were able to spend much blessed time with Dad, working alongside him as the nut (by so many descriptions) who didn’t fall far from the tree in Ken, and his apprentice “Trouble” in Joanne. Their daughter Megan, her husband Jeet, and sons Tim and Dhilan also gave him much joy, and the opportunity for Dad to have seen five generations of his family at the same time, from his mother, who predeceased him, all the way down to Tim.
They are joined by his youngest and most mature child Craig and his wife Jeanna. He was SO proud of them while he was here, and we are sure even more so now. They are both spiritual leaders in life, as well as in the church, Calvary Baptist, that Dad loved so much. We are sure that now, as Dad has the blessing of seeing way more than he could down here of the “fruits of their labor”, that he is even more proud as he looks down over them and their work.
He also leaves behind his sister Nancy and her husband Gerry. He also loved and appreciated them very much, at least after he and Nancy were able to grow out of their teenage years. The teasing did continue for far after that, though - an activity that Dad, and hopefully Nancy, had a LOT of fun with. Nancy also gave him a nephew Rick and niece Evie who Dad also loved, and would tease as well when he could.
To list all of the other family and friends who were blessed by Dad’s life would take FAR more space than this already-long presentation, and possibly the Internet, could contain.
We know that normally a person’s professional or community accomplishments are what are featured in an obituary, but Dad always felt that one’s true legacy, and his true source of pride, was in that for which he took the least amount of credit. He would always say that God and Phyllis raised his kids, while at the same time giving us a far better example than he knew, and influencing those he loved and knew far beyond what we can see until we catch up with him.
That said, he was very blessed by being able to serve at Calvary Baptist Church. He did so as a spiritual leader, serving at various times as Deacon, Sunday School Director, Trustee, and also serving most happily as general maintenance man. We would be hard-pressed to find some portion of the physical church that he did NOT work on. Well.
He was also blessed by his time in the Air Force (as evidenced every Veterans Day), and by his career at Pratt and Whitney. He always worked, though, for as long as we can remember, with the conviction that his true legacy would come through the family and church that he loved, and so his reach, through the power of the God he so loved, will not be seen this side of eternity.