|Birth: ||Feb. 2, 1939|
|Death: ||Nov. 3, 2010|
Jack Mikell Akins
February 2, 1939 November 3, 2010
Jack Mikell Akins passed away at his residence in the late evening of November 2, this year. He was in declining health for several weeks prior to his death. He was born on February 2, 1939 to The Late Colon Worlie Akins and The Late Ruby Lee Hendrix Akins. Blessed to his parents were brothers and sister who have gone on to be with the Lord; Little Billie Eugene Akins in 1933; John Willie Akins in 1984; Betty Joyce Akins Cribbs in 2001.
Jack attended the Portal Elementary School and was graduated with the Class of 1956 from Portal High School. During his school years, he was active in the Future Farmers of America, 4-H of Bulloch County, The Portal Hi-Lite school newspaper. He was loved by his classmates and was always considered a dependable friend and a "Good Old Boy". Jack worked tirelessly to further the school spirit and camaraderie among the students.
During his teen and early adulthood he worked and farmed for his parents and kept livestock and was always available to the tasks on the family farm. Living close to the land was a heritage and passion of Jack Mikell Akins.
In September of 1957, Jack went to work for Union Bag Paper Company in Savannah, Georgia. Over the next 44 years, he trained to become and was for over forty years a Master Machinist in the Paper Mill Maintenance and Engineering Department. He was very active in his shop serving the company and co-workers as a member of the International Association of Machinist and Aerospace Workers. The labor union movement was a very important part of Jack's life. He understood that to Work Union was to Live Better. He was a life-long Democrat.
During his employment with Union Bag Paper Company he attended and was graduated from Savannah Vocational College with certificates in Industrial Hydraulics Maintenance and Industrial Drafting.
Over the years at Union Bag and it's successor, Union-Camp Paper Corporation then later International Paper, Jack served on the Savannah Trades and Labor Assembly and was a delegate to the National Labor Relations Board when Jimmy Carter was Governor of Georgia. For over fifty years, Jack was an active and vocal member of the Southern Pulp and Paper Conference and the Labor Management Organizations of the AFL-CIO. He held membership of over fifty years in the Forrest City Lodge ( Local 23 ) of the International Association of Machinist and Aerospace Workers in Savannah, Georgia.
During the years of service to his union and his employer, Jack was a lobbyist in the Georgia State Capitol from 1965 to the present day, advocating for labor relations, educational opportunity, and legislation that related to creating a better environment and better management of our state's natural resources.
Jack was an active timber farmer and was a long-time member of the Portal Heritage Society. The Portal Heritage Society is a non-profit organization dedicated to preserving the naval stores industry and the ancient method of distilling raw pine gum into distilled turpentine. At the annual festival, "Mr. Jack" could always be found firing the still and helping the membership produce the turpentine. The highlight of the festival week was the time he spent with the Portal Elementary School students, mostly first and second grade students, who learned all about naval stores and turpentine from " Mr. Jack".
Jack was a Christian and was baptized in the Spring of 1952 at Friendship Baptist Church, near Statesboro, Georgia by the Reverend Roy Drawdy.
Jack was married to the the former Ruth Small on August 12, 1962 at the Portal United Methodist Church by the Reverend Frank Perry. Jack and Ruth made their home in Savannah, Georgia for over forty years. To this marriage, a son, Jason Mikell Akins was born. Jack, Ruth and Jason lived for many years on the Isle of Amrstrong, where Jack served as President of the Homeowners' Association and the Thunderbolt Volunteer Fire Department. While living in Savannah, the family attended Trinity United Methodist Church on Telfair Square.
Jack was a member of the United Methodist Men and served as its President for a number of years. He attended the New Beginnings Sunday School Class.
Upon retiring from International Paper, Jack moved back to his childhood home, the family farm and built a log house in the woods near his pond. He truly was passionate about being close to nature and loved his later years on the farm. He built a house with a big porch and loved visiting with his friends and neighbors on that porch.
Jack and Ruth shared the farm and grounds with PJ Bullet the Collie and Alice and Sidney the two family cats. PJ Bullet the Collie was Jack's constant companion.
Jack was a member of Portal United Methodist Church from 2002 to the present.
Jack served on the Portal United Methodist Board of Trustees from 2002 until last year. He was a member of the Pleasant Hill United Methodist Church and Cemetery Oversight Committee and active with the Portal City Cemetery Committee.
Jack Mikell Akins is survived by his devoted wife of 48 years, Ruth Small Akins of Portal, Georgia and His son, Jason Mikell Akins of Statesboro, Georgia. A niece and three nephews and host of cousins and distant family also survive.
The Funeral Service for Jack Mikell Akins was held on Saturday, November 6th at Eleven o'clock in the morning in the Chapel of Joiner-Anderson Funeral Home in Statesboro, Georgia. The Reverend David E. Hudson, The Reverend Fred L. Maddox and the Reverend James A. Cason, Jr. officiated. Burial in the sacred ground of Pleasant Hill United Methodist Church Cemetery.
Pallbearers serving were Lawrence T. " Tab" Akins, Jerry Hendrix, Tommy Hendrix, Ronnie Newton, Royce Cartee, Daniel Giron, Paul Hudson and Douglas Chassereau. Honorary Pallbearers were the Portal High School Class of 1956 and Trustees of the Portal United Methodist Church.
Colon Worlie Akins (1898 - 1963)
Ruby Lee Hendrix Akins (1910 - 1995)
Billie Eugene Akins (1933 - 1933)*
Betty Joyce Akins Cribbs (1934 - 2001)*
Jack Mikell Akins (1939 - 2010)
Pleasant Hill Cemetery
Created by: Bill Waters
Record added: Nov 07, 2010
Find A Grave Memorial# 61267630
Added: Nov. 16, 2011