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Hershel "Pops" Akins
Hart Funeral Home
Tahlequah, Oklahoma
Submitted by: Jo Aguirre

Funeral services for Hershel “Pops” Akins will be held on Tuesday, July 21, 2009 at 2:00 P.M. in the Hart Funeral Home Chapel.  Burial will follow in the Park Hill Cemetery.  Bobby Botts and nephew Jerry Underwood will preside.  Funeral services have been entrusted to the care of the Hart Funeral Home of Tahlequah. Pallbearers will be Tim Bedford, George Ritzhaupt, Gene Pierce, Heath Ritzhaupt, Shaun Helwick, and Brian Gosnell.  Honorary pallbearers will be Marvin Page, Dr. Jim Brixey, Forest Carter, Sam Lamons, Dale Keys, Kenny Adams, Terry Stevens, Gary Gibson, Anthony Hare, and Butch Parnell.

Hershel went to be with his God on Wednesday, July 15, 2009 after a courageous battle with cancer.

Hershel was born in Keota, Oklahoma on December 18, 1931 to Ettie and Virgil Akins, who preceded him in death.  He also was preceded in death by three brothers, T.J., Carl and Doyle, and by one granddaughter, Jessica Lisenbee.

Hershel served in the U.S. Navy from 1955 to 1961.  He worked as a produce manager at Safeway until his retirement in 1988.  Hershel was named one of “Tahlequah's friendliest employees” by the Tahlequah Chamber of Commerce while working at Safeway.  He was a member of the Carter Baptist Church where he was baptized.

Hershel is survived by his loving wife of 51 years, Bonnie (Tincher) Akins, of the home; his three daughters, Linda Bedford and husband Tim of Roseville, CA, Rhonda Ritzhaupt and husband George of Tahlequah and Teresa Pierce and husband Gene of Chewy, OK.  Pops is also survived by six grandchildren, Amber Helwick and husband Shaun of Muskogee, Melissa Ritzhaupt of Tahlequah, Heath Ritzhaupt and wife Kristina of Tahlequah, Justin Lisenbee of Chewy and Jordan and Jarred Hare of Tahlequah.  His legacy will live on with his great grandbabies that he adored, Tyler and Lauren Beard of Cookson, Keagan Beard of Tahlequah, Avaree Helwick of Muskogee, and baby boy Ritzhaupt due in January.  His memory will be treasured by his siblings: two sisters, Ora Dees and husband Joe of Spiro, OK and Ila Underwood and husband Joe of Panama, OK; and one brother, Raymond Akins and wife Louise of Keota, OK.  Hershel is also survived by a host of nieces, nephews, relatives and friends.

Hershel loved his family and cherished the time he spent with them.  He enjoyed the visits he had with his many friends and relatives over the past two months.  Hershel was a kind, generous man who will be greatly missed.

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