17 entries | 2 photos
  • "Your love for entomology and your undeniable curiosity..."
    - Aissa (Doumbouya) Sylla
  • "Gone , gone , gone beyond Another one gone too soon"
  • "Akers: Thank you for the guided butterfly walks at Prairie..."
    - Hutch
  • "Sing with the angels, James Akers."
    - Diane Retzloff Haynes
  • "Although we recently met through the Master Gardener..."
The Guest Book is expired.

James Akers Pence passed away while working in his beloved butterfly yard at dusk on Sunday evening, September 25, 2016.
He was born in Little Rock, Arkansas on February 10, 1948 and during his high school years, he participated as a singer and musician with the Retreat Singers, an Episcopalian student group which traveled and performed internationally. Akers continued to play music with his Retreat Singer friends whenever he visited Little Rock.
He graduated with a degree in English from Hendrix College in Arkansas in 1970.
After graduation, he moved to New York City to study with the Arica Institute where he met Linda Hoolahan in 1976. They married in 1984 and lived in Brooklyn while working as part of the teaching teams for the School of Tai Chi Chuan and the Arica Institute until 1996.
They moved to Gainesville in 1997 and Akers attended graduate school at the University of Florida where he earned a Ph.D. in Entomology in December 2005.
He worked as a researcher for the endangered Miami Blue and Schaus Swallowtail butterflies. He dazzled his friends with his curiosity and excitement regarding spiders, butterflies, and other pollinators.
He is survived by his wife, Linda Pence, his sister, Marilela Pence Bloom, his nephew, Ellis Bloom and his niece Liz Hartwell.
Akers will be laid to rest in the Prairie Creek Conservation Cemetery. Please visit his memorial page at
(352) 376-7556

Funeral Home
Williams-Thomas Funeral Home Downtown
404 North Main Street
Gainesville, FL 32601
(352) 376-7556
Funeral Home Details
Send Flowers
Published in Gainesville Sun from Sept. 29 to Sept. 30, 2016
bullet University of Florida
Funeral Home Details
Gainesville, FL   (352) 376-7556
funeral home direction icon