BENTON — Don Akin, 100, passed away Sunday afternoon, July 13, 2014.
Don was born Nov. 19, 1913, near Akin, the son of Wallie and Lulu (Gaither) Akin. He and his family moved to Benton five years later when their home burned.
He married Viva Mae McAfoos on June 27, 1936. She preceded him in death in 2005, 20 days before their 69th wedding anniversary.
Survivors include his daughter, Ava Jackson of Indianapolis; daughter and son-in-law, Vicki and James Page of Benton; grandsons, Aaron Jackson of Norfolk, Virginia, and Jared Jackson of Summerville, South Carolina; granddaughters, Chelsea (Page) and Dusty Crisp, and Courtney (Page) and Josh Chady, both of Benton; and six great-grandchildren.
Don graduated from Benton Township High School (later renamed Benton Consolidated High School) in 1932. He graduated from Bradley Polytechnic Institute in Peoria with specialities in watch and jewelry repair.
He opened Akin Jewelry Store in 1934 and retired in 1988 after 54 years of business in the same location. Drake’s Jewelry is in that location today.
A World War II veteran who served in the U.S. Navy, Don was stationed in the Admiralty Islands in the South Pacific. He was honorably discharged Dec. 14, 1945.
He was a member of First Baptist Church in Benton and American Legion Post 280 since 1946. He was a past member of the Rotary Club, Benton Chamber of Commerce, Elks, VFW, Benton Country Club and Lake Wales Country Club.
Don enjoyed playing golf (achieving three holes-in-one), working in his yard, Sudoku puzzles and remaking old clocks.
On his return to Benton in 2012, he relished being with his friends and family and enoyed going out to eat and reuniting with people he knew. He always surprised people when they learned his age, since he looked, thought and acted like someone much younger.
According to his wishes, private services will be at a later date.
Donations may be made to Hospice of Southern Illinois, Inc., 204 Halfway Road, Marion, IL 62959-5058.
Morton and Johnston Funeral Home in Benton is in charge of arrangements.