Church fills up during funeral for beloved coach and WWII vet

Posted at 6:42 PM, Jan 02, 2018
and last updated 2018-01-02 19:46:22-05

Robertson County has lost one of its most beloved members of the community, Robert Ray Akins.

Akins was a WWII veteran and legendary high school football coach. He served as a sniper in the Marine Corps, fighting battles overseas before starting his coaching career that lasted nearly four decades. He coached at seven schools in Texas, winning 12 consecutive district championships, a state record and 302 games.

A funeral was held at 11 a.m. on Jan. 2 at Franklin United Methodist Church to celebrate his life.

The packed church was a testament to just how many lives Akins impacted over the last few decades. Every seat was taken and plenty of people were left standing.

"He was second to no one, that I can tell you," said Marty, Akins' son. "God broke the mold when he made my dad, he really did."

Marty said the only thing his dad loved more than sports was his family and the people he met along the way. 

"Pop was our rock, our rudder and our guiding light who made us better men and women," said Marty.

Akins was praised throughout the service for his compassion, kindness and friendly nature. 

"Everybody in the area, in the county, loves this man and it goes much further than that," said Howard DeHart, Akin's friend. "He was just a good man and the community is going to miss him tremendously. I know I'm going to miss him tremendously."

Loves ones of Akins say he achieved greatness because he earned it. He rarely took days off, believed in hard work and gave back whenever he could. 

"A very big-hearted man," said DeHart. "He would do things when he didn't have no money in order to help somebody else."

A man with a golden reputation, who will never be forgotten.

"You're an incredible and amazing man, Pop. I want you to rest in my peace, my wonderful incredible father," said Marty. "You were the best ever, the greatest of all time and I love you."

Akins was also the grandfather of Drew Brees, who plays quarterback for the New Orleans Saints.

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