Obituary for Donald Blakeman Akers

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Donald Blakeman Akers

October 31, 1962 - December 6, 2016

Donald Blakeman Akers

October 31, 1962 – December 6, 2016

Born in Elizabethtown KY and lived in St. Charles MO

Don is survived by Berkley Akers, who is not just his wife, but his best friend and fiercest advocate; his six children: Emily Akers Johnson and her husband Andrew; Carey Akers Stevens and her husband Michael; Tanner Smith; Daniel Akers and his wife Kendle; Ben Akers and his wife Amanda and Hanna Grace Smith, as well as his mother, Ann Akers, and his brothers David Akers and his wife Penny; John “Tree” Akers and his wife Rebekah. He also was a grandfather to Rees and Jaden Stevens, and an uncle to Warren Akers and his wife Kaity; Abby Dunn and Freddie Boatright. He was also a great uncle to Mirah Akers and Marleigh Boatright. Don was the son in law of Judy Martin and Joe and Alice Porreca of Houston, TX. He was a brother in law to Kim Dunn of Katy, TX; Shelly and Aaron Anderson of Denver, and to Earl and Kity Maritn also of Denver. In addition to his immediate family, Don and Berkley have countless friends who they consider like family as well but are too numerous to attempt to list.

Don was diagnosed with ALS (Lou Gehrig’s Disease) in April of 2015 and died from complications related to pneumonia that came on very suddenly and unexpectedly. Don and Berkley had just returned from a three week road trip out west, where they spoke at the National ALS Conference. They often posted pictures with the hashtag – making memories – and that they did well. They shared a life crammed with more fun and adventures than most couples share in a marriage lasting 50 years. The love and devotion they had for one another was evident before Don’s disease, but even more so after his progression began and Berkley became his only caregiver. Life was challenging, but they didn’t let that stop them from being who they had always been and loving on an even grander scale. They did this by appreciating the simple little aspects of everyday life, and finding ways to laugh in the midst of a devastating disease. They conquered each day by the faith they shared and love they had for Christ and each other. Don died in his home with his wife, brother and a close family friend by his side. We rejoice knowing he is fully healed in heaven, but our hearts are heavy as we must learn to live without the light that shone so brightly from his heart and eyes.

Don was born in Elizabethtown KY and moved to St. Louis after graduating from Rose Hulman University to begin his professional career as an engineer. Don was not a man defined by his career, although he worked at Boeing for over 30 years – he was defined by how he loved people, his humble nature, the grace he extended, his insatiable wit and humor, the smile that made his blue eyes twinkle and his contagious love of Christ. Don excelled in his career and earned the title of Technical Fellow and while he was proud of that, he talked more about the people he worked with, their lives and the many bible studies he led over his time with Boeing. (He also might have mentioned a few antics he played on his fellows co-workers). His life was a walking testimony to how the God he loved extended grace and mercy to him, and he in turn, let that grace flow freely from him to all he met. He was a quiet man with a huge heart and he had a way of sharing his faith in a non-threatening manner. He was also a gifted teacher and he had an ability to pull relevancy from a passage of scripture that most would skim over. Don used his skills as a teacher, along with his love of basketball, and shared his faith in a number of ways. He went on numerous mission trips, served as a coach for Upward basketball for well over 7 years, and often times coached two teams each season for both of his sons. He also coached basketball and led bible study for a summer camp in Vancouver Canada. No matter what Don was doing he was doing it with love and often times with humor as well. He was thoroughly loved and respected by many – but greatly loved and respected by his family and wife. He was a faithful and sweet son, a loving and silly brother, a sweet and funny uncle, a devoted, attentive and kind hearted husband, a father who loved unconditionally and fiercely pursued a relationship with all six of his children, and the truest kind of friend one could want.

 

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Service Schedule

Visitation Information

Date: Sunday, December 11, 2016

Time: 2:00 pm - 7:00 pm

Hutchens-Stygar Funeral and Cremation Center

Address:

5987 Mid Rivers Mall Dr.
St. Charles, MO 63304

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Date: Monday, December 12, 2016

Time: 11:00 am - 12:00 pm

First Baptist Church of Harvester

Address:

4075 Highway 94 South, St. Charles, MO, 63304

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Service Information

Date: Monday, December 12, 2016

Time: 12:00 pm -

First Baptist Church of Harvester

Address:

4075 Highway 94 South, St. Charles, MO, 63304

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Cemetery Information

Date: Monday, December 12, 2016

Mt. Zion Cemetery

Address:

Highway K, O'Fallon, MO, 63366

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Donation Information

ALS Association St. Louis Regional Chapter

Memorial donations can be made to:
ALS Association of St Louis Regional Chapter,
ALS National Association or
ALS World Wide

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Life Event Timeline

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Timeline for Donald Blakeman Akers

Born: October 31, 1962
 
April 29, 2014
Don & Ken enjoying a Cardinal game
Don & Ken enjoying a Cardinal game
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Died: December 6, 2016

Condolences for Donald Blakeman Akers

Steve Porter posted on12/12/16

I'm so sorry for your loss. I met Don through our work with Upward Basketball at First Baptist Church of Harvester several years ago. He was such a great person to know and work with. We mostly spoke about our love of basketball and his mission trips which involved the game he loved. His family will be in our prayers.

 

Chuck posted on12/12/16

I am so sorry to hear of Don's passing. I worked with Don at Boeing for a few years in the mid 1990s. I will be forever grateful to Don for his faith and encouragement. I was raised in a Christian home but had drifted some in my faith as the years went by. Don invited me to one of his lunchtime bible studies at work. I agreed to attend and found his studies interesting and challenging. Don reinvigorated my faith and through his encouragement helped me to find a new church home, where I am active today. My thoughts and prayers are with Don's friends and family during this difficult time. Thank you Don for your faithful service. Rest in the arms of our savior my friend. Until we meet again.

 

Sandra Hitchcock posted on12/11/16

I'm sorry for your loss. This is a difficult time for you; but know that your friends & family are willing to help you and are praying for you. Although he died too young, it is a blessing that he is in heaven and doesn't have to suffer anymore. (from friend of Katie & Warren in Milton, Fl)

 

Kathy G posted on12/11/16

Gone too soon

 

Wendy Roll posted on12/11/16

My deepest sympathies to Don's family. What a wonderful person he was. I feel so lucky to have known and spent a time with him as a colleague and a good friend. We laughed with (and at) each other, five days a week for the six years we worked together. There was the time he wore his shirt to work inside out. There was the time he tried to teach me how to throw. There was the time he double dipped salsa. There was the. Time we assigned numbers to all our repeated complaints so we could save time in the future. There were the 66 times he made fun of my height (yes I kept track). Sandy and I celebrate his joy, his life, his faith, and his strength.

 

Cindy (Scanio) Llorico posted on12/10/16

So sorry to hear of Don's passing. He was my Sunday School teacher for several years and a great friend. Carey and Elizabeth babysat my daughter and we went often out to lunch on Sundays. Thinking of all Don's family members at this difficult time.

 

Steven Kraml posted on12/9/16

My prayers and best wishes go out to Don, his family, and his friends. May he rest in peace.

 

Ken Kruschwitz posted on12/9/16

My sympathy goes out to the family. I will always remember the volleyball games we played in Elizabethtown. The smile in every picture posted on Facebook, even in difficult times, demonstates you love for Jesus Christ and your wife. It is difficult to see you go, but comforting to know that you are in the presence of your Savior

 

Ken posted on12/9/16

Three seconds left, down by two and set up perfectly for a three point shot. Out of the corner of his eye he catches a basketball being tossed his way. He turns to receive the throw, chest high and with good force on it. He receives the ball, spins toward the gold rimmed hoop and prepares to take the shot. It’s the shot he has been preparing for all his life. He knows all that it will take to get the shot off. He knows that there will be those trying to block the shot or distract his attention, such that he cannot succeed, but he is focused and will not be deterred. It is different this time. No one is trying to block him or distract his concentration. He lines up, jumps, extends his elbow and flicks his wrist as he sends the ball spinning in a perfect arc to the target. Nothing but net. He made it. All is won. Congratulations Don. You have made it home. You have been a valuable part of my growth as a Christian. I will miss you greatly, but I take comfort in knowing you are in good hands now with our Savior, Christ Jesus. I have been blessed to have had you in my life. I am torn between the pain of the loss that goes to those left behind and the happiness I feel in my heart for you knowing you are in Heaven healed of the horrible disease which took over your earthly body.

 

Ken Tharp posted on12/9/16

RIP my childhood friend! We will miss you. I will always cherish the memories of crawfish hunting in the creek beside your house as well as playing basketball every night until our parents came looking for us.

 

Kathy posted on12/9/16

Sending love to all those who loved Don.

 

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