Ward Albert Akins Jr.

December 17, 1932July 24, 2018
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Ward Albert Akins Jr., 85 of Amarillo went home to his Lord and Savior on Tuesday July 24, 2018.

The family will receive guests on Sunday, July 29, 2018 from 6:00 pm to 8:00 pm in the Griggs Schooler Gordon Funeral Home, 5400 S. Bell. Funeral Services will be held at 2pm on Monday, July 30, 2018 in Amarillo at First Baptist Church with Dr. Howard K. Batson presiding. Interment will be in the Llano Cemetery East, Garden of Gethsemane, with full military honors by Amarillo Volleys for Veterans.

Ward was born December 17th of 1932 and was raised in North Jackson, Ohio by his parents Ward Albert and Eleanor Mary Akins. He went all 12 grades and graduated from Jackson Milton High School in 1950. He and his wife, Viola would have been married 66 years, Viola preceded him in death on May 27th, 2008. He retired from the US government with the FAA as an electronic technician. He was a loving husband, father, brother, grandfather and great grandfather. He was a member of First Baptist Church in Amarillo.

Survivors include two sons, Bob and wife Patty and Tom and wife Beverly, all from Amarillo, six grandchildren, Kyle Akins and wife Amanda and Alicia Akins all from Amarillo; Cherlyn Kirchhoff and husband Kevin and Tyler Akins all from San Antonio, TX; Josh Bryson and wife Misty from Vernon, TX and Joey Clements and wife Lori from Houston, TX. He was a proud great grandfather of 9, Chase Hunt and Ziegen Akins of Amarillo, Tucker Akins, Hannah Kirchhoff, Emma Kirchhoff and Georganne Akins all from San Antonio, TX, Chloe Clements, Alexa Clements and Finley Clements from Houston, TX; a sister Eleanor Hawkins and husband Tom and their children John and Patty Hawkins, all of North Jackson, OH; brother JT Dellis and sons Johnny and Harvey Dellis of Amarillo; Linda Kress and family, Bill Gilbert and family, David Gilbert and family and Steve Gilbert all of Saginaw, MI.

The family appreciated all of the Love, support and compassion from the wonderful caretakers at Ware for the great treatment given as well as the hospice care, he considered all of them friends. Ward will be greatly missed by everyone who had the pleasure of meeting him.


  • Ward Albert Akins Sr, Father
  • Eleanor Mary Akins, Mother
  • Eleanor Hawkins, Sister
  • Tom Hawkins, Brother-in-law
  • Viola Janice Akins, Wife
  • Bobby Akins, Son
  • Patty Akins, Daughter-in-law
  • Tom Akins, Son
  • Beverly Akins, Daughter-in-law
  • Kyle Akins, Grandchild
  • Alicia Akins, Grandchild
  • Cherlyn Kirchhoff, Grandchild
  • Kevin Kirchhoff, Grandchild
  • Tyler Akins, Grandchild
  • Josh Bryson, Grandchild
  • Misty Bryson, Grandchild
  • Joey Clements, Grandchild
  • Lori Clements, Grandchild
  • Ward is also the proud great grandfather of nine great grandchildren, and many nieces, nephews, and other loving family members and dear friends.

  • Douglas Drumm
  • Nick Skipworth
  • Joseph Young
  • Randy Carpenter
  • Steve New
  • Ted Nall


  • Visitation Sunday, July 29, 2018
  • Funeral Service Monday, July 30, 2018

Ward Albert Akins Jr.

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Mike Holloway

July 30, 2018

Ward, you are a true friend and someone who I have always had the upmost respect and admiration for. You gave such a fresh perspective of what it means to live life to the fullest. ( John 10:10 )You faced many physical and heart felt challenges and yet your joy endured! You have been such an example of faith, joy and true strength to me and so many others. Your smile and knuckles shown in the photo above brings a smile because you are of a true warrior for the gift of life. All things are made new ( Rev. 21:4 )and I share in your complete joy! Love you Ward! and I can hear you telling me the same!

Aimee Ortegon

July 27, 2018

I have had the honor of taking care of Ward for the past 4 years!!! We have always been close but since my own devastating loss we have grown closer. He held my hand, gave me a hug, shown me love, and ALWAYS leant an ear to me during my time of grief. I was his nurse the last nights of his life. I will never forget his hand upon my face when I leaned over his bed that first night to tell him he was stuck with me until the end and him telling me that he loved me. I’m so glad the family understood our relationship and let me be there for all of them when it was needed the most. I love you all...

Gayenell Lemaster

July 26, 2018

It was such a pleasure to take care of Mr. Akins when he was in the hospital. He was one of the nicest men I've ever met. I'm sorry to the family for your loss. After talking with him a lot when he was under my care, he told me that he knew that he was going to heaven and I'm sure he's walking the streets of gold. My thoughts and prayers are with you all during this time.



      When Ward Albert Akins Jr. walked into the room, those in his company felt energy, an enthusiastic spontaneity. This was just one example of who Ward was and how he impacted those around him. Ward was a clever and gregarious person who always sought out the finest attributes in other people. It was as if Ward wanted to share all of their experiences, revel in their lives and celebrate their discoveries. Ward was tireless and had boundless enthusiasm that would serve him well throughout his life.

      Ward was born on December 17, 1932 at his grandparents house in North Jackson, Ohio. He was the son of Ward Albert Sr and Eleanor Mary Akins. Ward was raised in North Jackson, Ohio. Always at the ready with a good joke, he grew up to be quite a humorous person. While some who knew Ward might describe him as an idealist, his friends and family understood well that Ward was always in pursuit of life’s endless possibilities and opportunities available to him.

      Ward was raised with one sibling. He had one sister, Eleanor Hawkins. Ward was very accepting and supportive of his family. He was perceived as the central person in his family in terms of keeping communication open between the family members. Whenever discord or tension arose within the home, Ward was typically the member who brought about resolution and harmony. These traits served Ward well in his adult life and, along with his wit, outgoing personality, and understanding of others, drew the admiration of many who knew him.

      As a young boy, Ward was able to empathize and identify with a vast array of people and personality types. This quality drew him into a diverse group of friends and acquaintances. Ward was intelligent and had little trouble getting along with his peers. He was almost always the first to jump in when it came to playing games or participating in other childhood activities. In his spare time he liked fishing and hunting. Ward had the ability to find amusement with almost any activity he and the many childhood friends he shared might discover.

      During his high school years, Ward responded enthusiastically to any new project and was regularly in search of one adventure after another. He graduated from North Jackson Milton High School in 1950. Ward was a very good student, and generally did well in his courses. Ward absorbed as much as he could from all of his teachers and was consistently able to tackle conceptual and abstract problems, using his imagination to master his assignments. For Ward, school often became just an extension of playtime, thanks to his ability to turn just about anything into a game. Classmates considered Ward a good listener, knowing that when necessary, they could go to him to discuss just about anything.

       Ward's skill at “building bridges” played an important role in his ability to make his new family happy. He was quite sensitive towards Viola's needs, showing his constant concern and fondness. Ward was tenderhearted and sensitive, qualities that served him well in helping to nurture his family.

      Ward was a natural and creative parent who was willing to provide his family with all sorts of new and interesting experiences. For Ward, parenting was a particularly enjoyable and pleasurable part of his life. Every activity, from chores to bedtime routines, became a game in the Akins home. Ward's skill at understanding his children's feelings, his sensitivity to their needs, and his gift for gentle persuasion enabled him to find novel solutions to any problem or situation that might crop up. Ward was blessed with twochildren: Bob and Tom Akins. They were also blessed with four grandchildren, Kyle, Alicia, Cherlyn, and Tyler.

      Ward was uplifted by new ideas and was excited by life’s possibilities, traits that made him an exceptional worker. His primary occupation was electronic technician. He was employed for 35 years by the Federal Government. Ward was enterprising, inventive and working against deadlines seemed to energize him. Ward had the uncanny ability to identify a win/win solution to just about any problem, possibly because of his gift for insight. Ward's fellow workers saw him as a supporter and a mentor.

      Ward was an Air Force veteran. Ward saw action during the Korean Conflict while working stateside. His fellow soldiers could count on him for being able to make adjustments to any situation as needed.

      Because Ward loved to have a broad variety of activities in his life, he took advantage of the opportunity to pursue numerous hobbies. His favorite pursuits were fishing, wood working, and HAM radio. Ward had a knack for being able to multi-task in order to create time for all of his favorite pastimes. However, Ward's ever-present concern for others always took precedent.

      Ward derived much satisfaction from participating in and watching sports. His charisma, supportive nature and ability to improvise when called upon to do so all made perfect attributes for enjoying a great many sporting activities. Ward was also something of a sports fan and enjoyed watching his favorite events whenever he got the opportunity. Tops on his list were football, basketball, and baseball.

      Throughout his life, Ward was actively involved in professional and community organizations. He was compassionate, accommodating and quick to move into action. Always able to build a consensus, Ward seemed to be the person smack dab in the middle of things, working to get things done. Those who had the opportunity to work with Ward usually agreed that when you were involved in an organization with him, it was as entertaining as anything you could imagine. In high school, Ward was a member of the Futuer Farmers of America (FFA). Throughout his later years, Ward was an active member of the F. B. C of Amarillo, Texas.

      Because Ward was constantly in the center of things and where the action was, he always seemed willing to join in and help, regularly getting involved in community activities. Ward's gift of planning and improvisation, along with a talent for rallying support, made him a great asset. Ward found new ways of getting things done in order to help make just about every activity more efficient and enjoyable. Politically, Ward was a member of the Republican Party.

      Ward was a man who was dedicated and devoted to his faith. He was a member of First Baptist Church Amarillo for 66 years. During that time, he was a Sunday School teacher. He was sympathetic and able to empathize with others and he used these qualities to the fullest while working tirelessly for his beliefs.

      Ward's love of improvising in his daily life was a perfect fit for his enjoyment of traveling. His favorite vacations were ones that were not planned. Traveling in a casual manor fit his personality well. Excited about seeing changing scenery and constantly looking for the enjoyment life could offer, Ward took his vacations seriously, well, as seriously as he possibly could. Favorite vacations included Yellowstone, going back home to Ohio, Red River, Colorado, and Branson.

      Ward was a lover of animals and cherished his pets. J. J. The poodle, was a best friend for 15 years.

      When Ward's retirement finally came in 1986, Ward handled it the way he usually did. He adapted and, like everything in his life, made it satisfying. Because he was such a flexible person and able to adjust to any situation, retirement was just another enjoyable change of pace for Ward to master. His new life involved relocating to Amarillo, Texas. In retirement, he found new pleasure in bible study. Even in retirement, Ward continued to stay in touch with his old friends and like always, made plenty of new ones.

      Ward Akins passed away on July 24, 2018 at Ware Memorial Senior Living Center. He is survived by his children, grandchildren, and many loving friends and family. Services were held at First Baptist Church. Ward was laid to rest in Llano Cemetery East in Amarillo next to his loving bride, Viola.

      There was always a certain style and inventiveness to Ward. He was a dynamic, self-expressive person who was forever looking to celebrate the endless possibilities life had to offer. He had a knack for being clever, creative and witty, and for others, was a joy to be around. While he was often fiercely independent, it seemed as if many others looked to Ward Akins for inspiration, leadership, wisdom and even courage. Ward was always more than willing to share life’s experiences with his loved ones.