Caswell (Cas) Willard Akins went to be with his Lord on October 20, 2013.
He was born in Bell, Florida on November 21, 1923 and was the fourth child of Crawford Leroy Akins and Ruth Dukes Akins. He was 89 years old.
The early years of Caswell's life were spent on a two mule farm during the Great Depression. He started plowing a mule when he was 8 years old and continued until he graduated from Bell High School in 1942.
Caswell served his nation during World War II. When he was 18 years old, the Japanese attacked Pearl Harbor which put him on a collision course with destiny. After a short stint with the Sun Ship Building and Dry Dock Company in Chester, PA., he volunteered into the United States Signal Corp. In August 1944 after stateside maneuvers training in Missouri, Kansas, Mississippi and Tennesee he left the United States for Scotland. He continued on and was a Veteran of Utah Beach after D-day.
Caswell was awarded 4 campaigns: Northern France, Central Europe, Ardennes Forest
and Rhineland. He participated in the Battle of the Bulge and also the Battle of the Saar/Moselle triangle. He served in the 94th Infantry Division Signal Corp under General George C. Patton and was a member of Patton's Ghost Corp. Caswell was discharged on December 19,1945.
In 1955 he took a job with Florida Power as the first service man ever to be assigned to the Cross City area where he worked for 22 years. After leaving Florida Power, he entered a private house building business. He was also one of the founders of First Federal of Florida Bank and served as a director until 1992. Although semi retired, he served 2 years as Dixie County's building inspector and also continued to occasionally build houses. He lived in retirement until his death.
He was preceded in death by his wife of 53 years, Emma Jean Chisum in 1998 and one great grand daughter Tatum Jean Revis in 2004. He is survived by 4 children. Ann (Rich) Goff of Orlando, Fl., Glenda (Johnny) Copeland of Wellborn, Fl., Casandra Akins of Orlando, Fl., and Jody Akins, 4 grand children, 7 great grand children and many nieces and nephews.
He leaves many, many friends.
Services will be held on Saturday October 26, 2013 at 10am at the First Baptist Church of Cross City located at 16024 SE 12th Avenue in Cross City, FL 32628.
In lieu of flowers the Akins family would like you to make donations to Disabled Veterans National Foundation in memory of Caswell W. Akins. www.dav.org.
Arrangements have been placed under the care of the Rick Gooding Funeral Home, Cross City, Florida.
Published in Gainesville Sun from Oct. 25 to Oct. 26, 2013