Taken from January 30, 2001 issue of The News Observer, (Fannin Co. GA):
"Raymond Akins Remembered For Community Work---Business and community leader Raymond Douglas Akins, 71, of Blue Ridge died on January 27, 2001 in Piedmont Hospital in Atlanta.
He owned and operated Akins Funeral Homes of Blue Ridge and Copperhill for the past 40 years.
"He was just a fine, Christian, civic-minded gentleman," said Don Hall.
He said Akins served the community well in his profession as well as through his involvement in church, civic club and other activities.
Funeral services for Akins will be held today, January 30 at 2 p.m. from the Blue Ridge First Baptist Church.
He is survived by his wife, Wanda Vandiver Akins of the home; sons, Doug Akins of Epworth and Van Akins of Blue Ridge; daughter, Mary Kay Carlisle of Acworth; brotherrs, Pat Akins and Joel Akins, both of Blairsville; sister, Mary Sue Colwell of Blairsville; several grandchildren and five great-grandchildren.
Born in Union County, he was the son of the late Joseph Marvin and Molly Coker Akins.
Don Hall said he met Akins when he first moved to Fannin. They became friends through their work at Blue Ridge First Baptist Church and in the Blue Ridge Kiwanis Club.
"He was just one of the finest fellows you would ever meet, Hall said.
Akins was a member and deacon at First Baptist, where he also served as chairman of the cemetery committee and chairman of the ushers for a number of years.
Annabelle Sowers was treasurer of the church cemetery committee which oversaw Chastain Memorial Park.
She said Akins probably worked on the committee since it began. Sher served on the committee with him for 20 years.
"He was dedicated to the church and to the cemetery," she said.
Sowers said Akins volunteered his personal time to supervise the cemetery.
"He was a dependable, Christian man," Sowers said. "I will miss him dearly."
Akins was also a member of the Blue Ridge Kiwanis Club. He was a 50-year member and a past president.
As a child, Steve Eaton said he knew Akins when he was his Boy Scout leader and would take the troop on trips. Later, Eaton knew Akins as a Kiwanis member and through business. "He was as much of a community-minded man as I've ever seen," Eaton said.
Bill Prather said he has known Akins all his life. He remembers Akins and his wife, Wanda, serving as chaperones at a teen canteen when Prather was in high school. Prather said the couple were good citizens to spend their Saturdays working with youth.
He said he also knew Akins whose nickname was "Digger," while a member of the Kiwanis Club and as an usher at church.
He said they both ushered at church and had time for conversations before the church service. "(Akins) was well thought of," Prather said. "I never heard anyone say anything bad. He was just a good citizen."
Paul Cochran said Akins was known for his efforts to help people both through his business and in the community.
He said Akins did much of his work behind the scenes and did not care about publicity or recognition. "He wanted to make sure things got done," Cochran said.
Roy Stewart said, "(Akins) was a straight forward fellow." Stewart said Akins was a community-oriented person. "He helped people in many ways they didn't know."
Akins was also a fan of dirt track racing and frequently attended races at Sugar Creek. "He enjoyed watching the races and the people who attended," Stewart said. "It was something he enjoyed."
Cochran said Akins was always a faithful, easy-going Christian. "Raymond was always Raymond," Cochran said.
Akins was a member of Blue Ridge Lodge #67 F. & A.M., having served as lodge secretary for a number of years. He was a member of the Georgia and Tennessee Funeral Directors and the National Funeral Directors Associations. He served on the advisory board for United Family Life Insurance Company for a number of years. He was a World War II veteran, serving in the United States Army.
The Rev. Troy Acree and the Rev. Rodney Stamey will officiate at the service on Tuesday. Music will be by Lois Jones and William Wright.
Pallbearers are Roy Stewart, Don Hall, Steve Eaton, Bill Prather, Paul Cochran, Mike Lilly, Glenn Crowe and Leon Davenport.
The following will serve as honorary escort: members of the Blue Ridge Kiwanis Club, members of Blue Ridge Lodge #67 F. & A.M., deacons of Blue Ridge First Baptist Church, area funeral directors and area ministers.
Interment will follow in Chastain Memorial Park with full military honors by the North Georgia Honor Guard.
In lieu of flowers, the family has requested contributions be made to the Fannin County Scholarship Find, P.O. Box 1883, Blue Ridge, GA 30513.
Akins Funeral Home is in charge of the arrangements."