On Oct. 18, 2017, Marie Hazel Akins left 90-plus years of memories behind for her family and friends to cherish. She was born July 21, 1927 in Calgary, Alberta, Canada to Winnifred and Lorin Jones Irving, eventually emigrating to the U.S. at the age of 14. Most of her early years were spent in the state of Washington, primarily the Seattle area, where she met her husband of 52 years, Valencia Franklin Akins. Marie and “Frank” as he was known to family and friends, lived the typical military life in motion, moving from the West Coast to the East, and back again, where they spent most of Frank’s military career stationed at Naval Air Station Whidbey Island.
Marie has a lifetime of volunteerism to her credit including stewardship in St. Mary’s in the Valley (Ramona, Calif.), St. Stephen’s (Oak Harbor) and St. Bede’s (Port Orchard) Episcopal churches, Cub Scouts, Brownies and Girl Scouts. She served two terms as president of the Oak Harbor Emblem Club and acquired many honors and awards for her dedication to the club, particularly for fundraising chairmanships and volunteer efforts.
The ledger of her life also includes several years with the Navy Exchange at Naval Air Station Whidbey Island, completing her working career as a sporting goods procurement specialist. She formed many friendships through the Elks Travel Club, Elks Lodge and Emblem Club Fellowship during her 56 years of military and civilian life in Oak Harbor and her last three years in Gig Harbor. Family and gardening were her passions.
On March 1, 1999, Frank passed. Together, they created their legacy of faith, charity and love of family through four children: Valerie (Daniel) Herriges of The Dalles, Ore., Bonnie (Neil) O’Malley of Gig Harbor, Terry (Benita) Akins of Shelton, Jeffrey (Cindy) Akins of Centralia, Wash.; 12 grandchildren and 19 great-grandchildren. Marie was pre-deceased by her parents and her only sibling, Ronald Jones Irving, of Gresham, Ore., but is survived by his only remaining child, Debbie (Irving) Pierce, of Fairview, Ore., whom she thought of as her own.
All are welcome to join the family in celebrating Marie’s life Saturday, Dec. 9, 2017 with religious services at St. Stephen’s Episcopal Church, 555 SE Regatta Dr. Oak Harbor, at 10 a.m., followed by the Emblem Club graveside service at Maple Leaf Cemetery, 1961 Cemetery Rd., and a luncheon at St. Stephen’s.
The family suggests memorials in Marie’s name to St Stephen’s Episcopal Church Outreach, PO Box 2754, Oak Harbor, WA 98277 or Eye Care Chairman C/O Oak Harbor Emblem Club #450, PO Box 666, Oak Harbor, WA 98277