Roberta Akin (1919-1997)

by Steve Hale

I’ll never forget this scene. Cindy and I were eating at the Cracker Barrel, when a familiar, low, booming voice said: “Hello, Steve, old boy … how ya doin?” “Fine, fine Ray. How are you?lt

Cindy said: “Who was that?” I said: “Ray Akin.” “Nooo, that wasn’t Ray,” she said. “That fellow was too young looking.” “Honey,” I said, “he’s in love.”

Not long after that, Ray and Roberta called me, and asked me to perform their wedding ceremony. Very privately, we met in the church auditorium. Standing-up with Ray and Roberta were Ronnie and Joanne Sneed. Following their vows, we had the ring ceremony.

Roberta was nervous, and was trying to put Pay’s ring on the wrong finger. Ray, trying to be helpful and gentlemanly, said: ‘Wrong

finger.” His voice, even its softest tone, is strong and commanding. Startled, she looked-up at him, and apologized.

I took her hand, and,helped her place the ring on Ray’s correct finger and said: ‘We’re starting out just great … helping one another.”

Roberta was just like that: sweet, loving, and precious. Even through her great frustration to communicate, her sweetness and tenderness was able to shine through.

None of us will forget the pages she wrote to communicate with us. As she wrote, she seldom mentioned her own plight, but asked about others.

One of the ladies that stayed with her had had her birthday. Roberta asked this lady to write a check for her. When this lady asked what for, Roberta did not want to tell her. Finally, she found out that Roberta wanted to be sure to remember her birthday.

She’s with the Lord now, and We rejoice for her, but we -weep for Ray and their families.