by David Shannon
Ray Akin battled emphysema during the last chapter of his life. Ray was born and grew up in Bellwood here in Wilson County. He was born September 19, 1917. He was preceded in death by a brother and three sisters. He was also preceded in death by Lucille Chandler, his wife of 49 years. Ray loved the outdoors, hunting, bird dogs, fishing, shooting, and working with his hands. Ray loved the farm. Ray was as close to being a real cowboy as probably anyone else in Wilson county. As a young man he road range patrol in Oklahoma, scouting cattle rustlers. After moving back to TN he worked ten years for DuPont. He retired with 37 years of service as a supervisor at Avco. Ray loved horses. He would speak of horses he owned and worked decades ago describing their temperament, markings, and strengths. He didn�t talk about horses to tell stories, but to reveal his heart. During the last conversation we had shortly before his passing, we discussed several spiritual issues. After the conversation lightened somewhat he said to me without laughter �Dave, I don’t know if there will be horses in heaven, but if there is, I hope God will save a good one for me.� Ray loved his family. He loved his wife Dot, his two daughters Sue Jackson, and Connie Wilson, and the rest of the family. Ray loved the MJ church. In spite of this slow, breath-stealing disease, Ray seemed to grow closer to God throughout it. He will be missed. To his family we extend our deepest sympathy.