12-31-20 Jerry Akers Sr..jpg

Jerry Akers Sr.

On Thursday morning, Dec. 24, 2020, Jerry Akers Sr., 88, of Matewan, went home to be with his precious Lord and Savior, surrounded by his loving family. He spent Christmas this year with Jesus and his wife of 63 years, Lula.

He was born at Lobata, March 5, 1932.

He was preceded in death by his parents, Leonard Akers Sr. and Estella Sue Akers; his wife of 63 years, Lula Sullivan Akers; four brothers, Jack (Jerry’s twin), Freddie, Andy and Leonard Jr.; two sisters, Dorie and Geraldine; and his half-sister, Joann Akers.

He is survived by his three children, Dr. Bruce E. Akers (Rhonda), of Fayetteville, N.Car., Jerry Akers Jr. (Kimberly), of Williamson, Sonya Hackney, and Gary Hackney, who was like a son to him, of Williamson; six grandchildren, Tracey Michelle Akers, Staci Moore (Brandon), Erica Meillier (Matt), Heather Akers, Megan Hackney and Isaiah Hackney; three great-grandchildren, Grayson Day, Harper Moore and Zoey Moore; one brother, Claude Akers; his half-brother, James; and two half- sisters, Blanche McClellan (Willis) and Brenda Akers. He is also survived by a special cousin who was more like a brother, Paul Akers; and Bobby Stiltner, who was also like a son.

Jerry was in the Army for three years, stationed in Anchorage, Alaska, with the rank of Corporal (E4.) Upon his honorable discharge, he returned home and worked for 3 1⁄2 years in the coal mines before acquiring a position with Appalachian Power Company. There, he worked until retirement serving 37 years, on call 24-7, and never missing a call. He took restoring power to communities very seriously. He was known as “the power man.”

Jerry was a master-gardener, exceptional pool player and expert carpenter. But of all his many accomplishments, serving Jesus as a deacon at the Tug River Community Church was by far his greatest. As a deacon in the church, one of his greatest joys was to serve through visitation of the sick and shut in—and he didn’t just visit Tug River’s members. If he knew someone was sick in the community, he would go. What a celebration it was that day when he committed his life to Christ. He never looked back. For the rest of his days, Jerry loved Jesus, loved being in church and loved singing in church. As a matter of fact, he had to be completely off his feet before he would miss a Sunday. Jerry was a founding member of Tug River Community Church. He served faithfully as a deacon, and literally helped build the church and pay it off. His fingerprints were probably on every board and every windowpane in their beautiful building.

He will be greatly missed by all who knew him. But we are thankful that our hope in Jesus will allow us to join him one day in heaven.

A private family service was held at 1 p.m., Tuesday, Dec. 29, 2020, at the Chambers Funeral Services Chapel, Matewan. Interment followed at Mountain View Memory Gardens, Huddy, Ky., with family and friends serving as pallbearers. Military honors were provided by the Disabled American Veterans Chapter #141 of Belfry, Kentucky.  

Memorial contributions may be made in his memory to: Tug River Community Church, P.O. Box 759, Matewan, WV 25661. Arrangements were under the direction of Chambers Funeral Services, Inc., of Matewan.

The guestbook may be signed at www.chambersfuneralservices.com.

Ruth Smith

Ruth Smith, 76, of North Matewan, transitioned from her earthly tabernacle to one of heavenly rest on Saturday morning, Dec. 26, 2020, while a resident of the Good Shepherd Nursing & Rehabilitation Center of Phelps, Kentucky.  

She was born at Majestic, Ky., Dec. 12, 1944, a daughter of the late Harold and Edna (Coleman) Thorpe.

In addition to her parents, she was preceded in death by her husband, Rodney Smith.

She was the postmaster at North Matewan having served nearly 30 years in this role within the community which she loved. She was a lady of class and sophistication who took great pride in how she represented the Lord. Her display of Godliness and her kind spirit was indeed an example not only to her family, but to all who knew her. She displayed kindness, grace and love in everything she did. From giving freely without any desire of public recognition to praying fervently for any need that was placed upon her heart; she was the epitome of a virtuous woman. She would write cards with personal messages of inspiration or she would cook a meal or a dessert for someone simply because she thought of them.  

She was a beautiful lady, but her beauty was not superficial; her exquisiteness surfaced from within. She was a person of strength, fortitude and most importantly, faith. She truly had a mindset that with God all things are possible. Even during her sickness, following her stroke, she was still a shining light; serving as an example of strength and endurance. As echoed by Billy Graham, “Someday you will read or hear that I am dead. Don’t you believe a word of it! I shall be more alive than I am now. I will just have changed my address.  I will have gone into the presence of God.”

She was a hero to her daughter, granddaughter and great-grandchildren, namely Debra Akers (David), of North Matewan; and her granddaughter, Kayla Hannah (Dennis), of Austin, Tex.; her great-grandchildren, Addyson and Elijah Hannah, both of Austin, Texas. Others who survive her include her sisters, Yvonne Keene (Fred), of Mt. Sterling, Ky., and Mary Ann Allen, of Freeburn, Kentucky.  

She will be sadly missed by all who knew and loved her.

Services honoring her life were held at 1 p.m., Wednesday, Dec. 30, 2020, at the Chambers Funeral Services Chapel with Pastor Terry Blankenship officiating. Burial followed at the Buskirk Cemetery, Radio Hill, McCarr, Ky., with family and friends serving as pallbearers. Arrangements were under the direction of Chambers Funeral Services, Inc., of Matewan.

The guestbook may be signed at www.chambersfuneralservices.com.

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