Warren David Akin
April 14, 1969 – February 11, 2020
David Akin, beloved son, brother, and friend, veteran of the 101st Airborne, made his last jump in this world, February 11, 2020. David was born Warren David Akin in Heights Hospital, April 14, 1969, an Eastertide baby, who always loved the flowers of spring. Brought into this world by his Mother, Jerrie Akin, he was welcomed home by his father Edward P. Akin, III, his brother Pete, and his grandparents, E.P. and Thelma Akin and Willie and Tom Lawrence. He cherished his mother, and also shared an especially close bond with Thelma, who saw him through his first 34 years, good times and bad. He cared lovingly for his father through Ed’s final illness. David grew up in Northwest Houston, and spent much of his youth in Garden Oaks, the Heights, and Inwood Pines, where he met his oldest friends, Raymond “Rang” Nguyen, Kenney Jenkins, Darrell McCoy, Mike Olson, Oscar Robles and Yvonne Samudio, among others. In his final hospital stay, they came up to be by his side on his final journey, to talk to him, and tell old stories. He was blessed to know them. Most people would think three times and linger in the door before jumping out of a perfectly good airplane. David relished doing it every chance he got. He mustered into the 101st Airborne Division at Fort Campbell, Kentucky. The gentle soul was nevertheless a good soldier. He took his first overseas tour on top of a Humvee, in the deserts of Kuwait and Iraq, with a stinger missile. He met brothers he would always remember, and saw things he tried hard to forget. He was always fiercely proud of being a Screaming Eagle, and was a member of the Robert George Cole Chapter of the 101st Airborne Division Association. All the rest of his days, he felt strong kinship with the guys who toted the guns. He met veterans of World War II and Vietnam as well as the Gulf Wars through the VFW post, and was active in veterans groups. The paratrooper and biker also had the soul of an artist. He could pick beautiful melodies on the guitar, and make piano keys do his bidding. He created, and often gave away, works of art, both striking and haunting. His pen drawings reflected a soul that felt things a good bit deeper than most. David loved to explore the haunts of his hometown, preferably on one of his several Harleys, with his beloved fiancé, Stephanie Devine. He mourned the loss of the old Houston, with its ice houses, bungalows, blues musicians, longshoremen, storytellers and barbecue shacks. One night, he persuaded a cemetery security guard to point him to the grave of musician Sam “Lightnin’” Hopkins, so he could make a pilgrimage. A folk singer once wrote, of a different place undergoing gentrification, “I just want to make enough to buy this town and keep it rough.” David shared the sentiment. David cut a striking figure, tall, with flowing hair that would do the biblical Samson proud. Like Samson, he distrusted anyone who thought he needed a haircut. His motorcycle pipes would announce his arrival from several blocks away. David took a degree from North Harris County and also studied at St. Thomas after mustering out of the military, and worked as an EMT. A lifelong learner, he could astonish friends with his recall of history, music, and art. Ancient Egypt particularly fascinated him. He read widely about the Vietnam War. Where some dabble in family genealogy, he went at it like someone inclined to jump out of planes. Many an animal found a kindred spirit and a home with David: an opossum, various snakes, a golden pheasant dubbed “Ringo.” An orange and white cat with an improbable goatee became “Hep-cat,” and survives him. Above all other animals, he cherished his wolf dog, Duncan. David is survived by his mother, his fiancé Stephanie Devine, brother Pete, sister in law, Molly, nieces Emily and Natalie, and many friends and relatives. He was preceded in death by his father and grandparents. David marched and danced through life to his own drummer. Led Zeppelin’s John Bonham, perhaps? Or perhaps some drummer whose beat only David heard and recognized. Now, like a good Screaming Eagle, he has not lingered too long in the door, but has jumped free of this world. Godspeed, peace and Geronimo. In lieu of flowers, David requested donations to Guide Dogs for the Blind.
- Visitation Tuesday, February 18, 2020
- Funeral Service Tuesday, February 18, 2020
- Committal Service Tuesday, February 18, 2020
Warren David Akin
February 16, 2020
The last thing you want to hear at your birthday party is that you lost you cousin! We grew up together as playmates. If he was at Granny's I would come from down the street to play with him and Pete.
I remember picking flowers at Granny and PawPaw's with Pete and Warren. PawPaw would pick a switch and tell us we were going to get it if we did not stop. We chased her chickens and played army in the yard. Warren was 6 years younger than us so he was never in trouble. The last I saw of him was at my mother's funeral and I was so blessed to be enveloped the the nicest, warmest hugs I have ever received. It ment the world to me. My heart breaks for my Aunt Jerrie. The loss of both her husband and her baby has got to be the most hardest to endure. I love you and will always be here for you if you need me.
February 15, 2020
David was a member of the Phantom Airborne Brigade, an airborne veterans group located in Central Florida. In the attached photo you can see David sitting in the door of our plane about to exit for a parachute drop (Airborne operation). He loved jumping from planes and was immensely proud to be a paratrooper! Fair winds and full canopies David... we'll rendezvous on that last DZ.
February 15, 2020
To my beloved cousin, David:
My heart is sad but I take joy in knowing you are now with our Heavenly Father pain-free from the afflictions of war. What a Celebration of Life!
I fondly remember the days when you were a toddler and I, a mere teenager, would babysit you. You truly did prepare me for what was to come when I had my own children ie keeping me on my toes ( locking me out of the house) and running after you when you decided to escape to the back parking lot of Akin Pharmacy... not once but many times. I can still see your little laughing face but I was always too winded to join in the laughter. I don't believe I ever thanked you for the experiences!
David, I promise that I will be there for your mom, Aunt Jerrie, as much as I can. I know you worried about her as a loving son would. Thank you again for your service for our country's freedom. I am proud of you and love you dearly. Rest in peace, cousin.
Marilyn B Slotter
February 14, 2020
I remember the day I received a call at work from an operator who asked me if I would accept a call from a soldier named David Akin from the 101st Airborne Division. I was the receptionist who worked with your mother, and I was so happy to hear your voice. Yours was a much-anticipated call. Your mother had faithfully waited for the call – not even leaving the office for a lunch break every day after the Gulf War ended. However, on this particular day, she had to leave for a short time.
I believe that fellow employees and I transferred your call to every vice-president, manager, sales person, engineer, and administrative person in the whole office while praying that your mom would return before you had to end the call. Finally, you told me that you had to go, because there was a long, long line of soldiers who needed to call home too. “Please tell Mom I will call her back as soon as I can. I’m coming home.”
Minutes later, your mother entered the reception area. I can still see her collapsing on the sofa in disbelief. As tears welled in her eyes, she softly smiled with pride and relief. Everybody was so proud of you. Family and friends all celebrated each time the Army recognized you for your service and bravery; but, we were all so glad to say, “Welcome home”.
Today, as we celebrate your entire life, we thank you for your sacrifices and service to the United States of America. We will always be proud of you. May God comfort and keep Jerrie, Pete, Molly, Emily and Natalie.
With love and respect,
Marilyn Slotter and family
February 14, 2020
To the Akin Family and David's buddies and loved ones:
My family extends prayers for healing and the peace that passeth all understanding to you on David's untimely passing. We hung out a bit when David would visit Pete in Austin. I also knew him from my one-day career with Dave and Pete on a NE Texas pipeline survey crew that Pete led. After I hiked 30 miles that first day in wet boots, I couldn't walk. My feet were bleeding, so Pete agreed to fire me. David stayed on the crew; later joining the Army where he got to hike a lot more.
We are thankful for his service in Desert Storm, and his brotherhood with other servicemen and women. I had not seen David since Pete's wedding when we got to visit at their father's funeral. I was so impressed by the man he had become; looking out for his father during his illness, taking care of his mom, and sharing an authentic bond with other vets who came out to pay their respects and to have his back at a tough time. Despite his wartime injuries and disabilities, David lived the best life he knew how, and he was an inspiration to others to live their best lives as well.
The world will be a lot more boring, and a lot less authentic without Warren David Akin tromping his big feet through Houston, opening up the throttle and blaring those loud pipes along Texas highways, playing music, and sharing his genuine love with people and critters. You will be missed. Hooah, soldier!
Rich Tharp and family
February 14, 2020
David, you were probably my favorite cousin. I personally wanted to thank you, from a fellow Army brother, for your service to our country. Thank you for helping to guide me to make the decision to join the Army and for your advice as I moved onward in my Army career. Because of you, I am happily retired with a distinguished service. You will be missed by so many but never forgotten.
February 13, 2020
Warren David- you are a caring and giving soul. Warren, your hospitality and generosity was part of who you are and we always cherished our friendship with your family for more than fifty years.
You served our country honorably and we will always be proud of you! You will never be forgotten.
The Reyes family.