James Eric Akers
1945 - 2019
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James Eric Akers, a long-time resident of Jacksonville, died peacefully on September 18, 2019, after a brief illness. He was 73.
Jim, the youngest of three children, was born in Jonesboro, Arkansas on October 14, 1945, to Ward E. Akers and Dorothy Erb Akers Pechin. The family relocated to Nashville, Tennessee where he graduated from Overton High School in 1963. In 1968 Jim received a Bachelors in Social Science from Vanderbilt University and a Masters of Divinity from Louisville Presbyterian Theological Seminary in 1971. After completing his education, Jim served his country in the United States Army National Guard for 30 years, achieving the rank of Colonel and was a member of the National Guard Officers Association. It was during this time that Jim discovered his love of flying, especially helicopters. Jim began his career in 1971 as General Manager at TGI Friday's in Nashville, and in 1973 moved to Jacksonville where he served in the same capacity at Annie Tiques Restaurant and Bar, a popular venue. It was at Annie Tiques that he became known as "Captain Whirlybird" where he entertained nightly delighting customers with his well-known off the wall antics including his unique talent of "playing the bottles" which led to a concert with the Jacksonville Symphony where he entertained the crowd with his "musical talent". He thoroughly enjoyed music and nature and spent time in his cabin in North Carolina. In 1980, drawing on his experience and love of flying helicopters Jim served as Director of Life Flight and Special Projects at Baptist Medical Center. He continued to work in the medical field as Vice President of Marketing, Planning, and Development for Jacksonville Faculty Practice Association. In the 10 years preceding his death he was a successful commercial real estate broker. Jim was passionate about serving others and began a long and successful role as a fundraiser for many charitable and non-profit organizations benefitting many groups with his talent and generosity. He was Master of Ceremonies for the Children's Miracle Network Telethon for six years, Chief Auctioneer for WJCT-TV, Jacksonville's public television station, for fifteen years, and in 2003 was awarded Volunteer of the Year by the PBS station. He was a member of the American Heart Association, President of the local Board of Directors for Suicide Prevention Services and was involved with the American College Healthcare Marketing and the Alliance for Healthcare Strategy as well as the Superior Vena Cava Syndrome Center. Jim was also on the Board of Directors of New Heights of Northeast Florida. Jim was a longtime member of the Mandarin Rotary, and in 1990 was named a Paul Harris Fellow and was also named Rotarian of the Year in 2001. At Christmas time he became Santa Claus for many children of Mandarin Rotary, the neighborhood, and various organizations.
Jim is survived by his loving wife of 28 years, Marie Orcigr Akers, his son, Eric, a sister, Dorothy Akers Thompson, as well as numerous nieces and nephews.
A Celebration of Life will take place Monday, October 7th at 12 p.m. at WJCT-TV, 100 Festival Park Ave. Jacksonville, Florida 32202.
Please Sign the Guestbook @ Jacksonville.com

To Plant Memorial Trees in memory, please visit our Sympathy Store.
Published in Florida Times-Union from Sep. 23 to Sep. 29, 2019.
Celebration of Life
12:00 PM
Memories & Condolences
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35 entries
January 28, 2020
I was trying to find an updated contact number for Jim and was so saddened to learn of his passing. I had the opportunity to work with him during his commercial real estate carrier. He will be remembered as a genuine and kind gentleman, full of energy and always ready to lend a hand to a good cause. He will be missed. My condolences to his family.
Viktoria Simeonova
November 19, 2019
I knew Jim for many years as our realtor. He was such a gentle, kind, honest man. I considered him a dear friend. I'm so very sorry for your loss but always remember the legacy Jim left behind in you all. He was a very special man. I'm a strong believer in Christ and heaven and certain we will see Jim again in the near future. My sincerest sympathy. Nancy Ralston
Nancy Ralston
October 27, 2019
Please accept my sincere condolences for the loss of your loved one . May 1 Thessalonians 4:14 bring you some comfort in knowing that there is a future for the ones we have lost in death. They are very precious in Gods eyes. May the God of all comfort strengthen your family during this time of deep sorrow.
October 24, 2019
Saddened & Shocked to learn of the passing of Mr. Jim ! :(
Mr. Jim was the first person I met when I moved to Jacksonville, FL in February 2018. What a great person & friend. Enjoyed hearing all the stories from his life. NO DOUBT, Jim will be GREATLY MISSED BY ALL who knew & loved him. RIP my friend.
Scott Norris
October 20, 2019
I was so saddened to hear of my friends passing. Jim Akers was truly a Jacksonville treasure. What a life he lived and most of it was to help others. Our kids played soccer together and we were a mini game cheering them on. He was a fine gentleman and I will miss him greatly. I'm losing too many friends lately and now Jim's added to the list of really good friends and great people. My sincere sympathy to his Family.
Matt and Karen Carlucci
Matt Carlucci
October 19, 2019
Please accept my sincere condolences for the loss of your loved one. May (1 Thessalonians 4:14) bring you some comfort in knowing that there is a future for the ones we have lost in death. They are very precious in Gods eyes. May the God of all comfort strengthen your family during this time of deep sorrow.
October 15, 2019
Marie and Eric,

"It is foolish and wrong to mourn the men who died. Rather, we should thank God such men lived" George S. Patton.
Jim was one such person and I am privileged to say I knew and served with him.

Bob Flaige
Bob Flaige
October 7, 2019
Rest in peace Santa, the kids and all of us will miss you, keep on eye on us from up there would you. Marie please accept our condolences.
Ciro Castro
October 4, 2019
I worked for Jim when he was the Program Director at Life Flight. Last year the employees of the program in the 1980's got together for a reunion. Eventually Jim got in the mood and out came his comedy / pastor act. It was wonderful to see him having a good time and entertaining all of us. He loved to make people laugh. I will hold onto that memory forever. Jeffrey Money
October 2, 2019
Jim was highly regarded in the Jacksonville community. Prayers to his family.

Tina Crowder
Tina Crowder
September 29, 2019
Soldier Salute Standing Spray
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Matt Carlucci
September 29, 2019
A great Eagle Scout, Scout Leader, and Friend!
Sincere condolences and best wishes to Marie and Eric,
Rick and Pam Fulton
Rick and Pam Fulton
September 29, 2019
Karen and I are so shocked and saddened at the loss of this great man and Jacksonville treasure. Our sons played so many soccer games and that's where we got to really know Jim. He was so many great things to his family to his friends and Jacksonville. We will miss him greatly and send our sincerest sympathies to his wife and son. Matt and Karen Carlucci
Matt Carlucci
September 29, 2019
Rest in peace my friend. You have answered the call to duty by serving your state and nation with honor and distinction. Our opportunity to serve together for many years will always be remembered as professional and rewarding. May God bless you and your family.
BG(ret) Richard G. Capps
September 26, 2019
We first met Jim at Louisville Presbyterian Theological Seminary when my husband (Rev. Dr. Bud Armstrong), our three children and I stormed the campus. Jim and Bud soon became great friends and full of love and jokes for the other students and the children of the campus. Home cooked meals, games and helping us with the seminary answering service was an important part of our friendship. Over the years, as our paths crossed and crisscrossed, the friendship always was there. Marie, Jim, Bud and I were able to share some wonderful times together. I would like to believe Bud and Jim are together again creating jokes and music.
Rest In Peace my dear friend. Love and prayers Marie and Eric.
Nancy Armstrong
September 26, 2019
What fun we all had when we were with Jim. The WJCT auctions and events were definitely enhanced by his participation. He even took a pie in the face while sitting in a grocery cart and kept on smiling. He was a very special person.
Twinda Braswell
September 25, 2019
We had some really good students in our high school,but Akers (as we called him) was one of the best. I can truly say that if he was your friend he was a true friend.
REST IN PEACE my friend.
Chuck Rogers
Chuck Rogers
September 25, 2019
Those of us who knew and loved Jim are deeply saddened by his passing so soon. He was a wonderful, unique man.

Sending love and prayers to the family,

Jim's friends in Louisville
Old Friends
September 24, 2019
My condolences to the family. Jim was a kind and funny man. Always a joy to be around. May you find comfort and peace that can only come from the Lord.
Cheryl Bowman 7643 Dandy Avenue
September 24, 2019
Like many older Jacksonvillians I first became acquainted with Jim Akers (aka Capt. Whirleybird) at Annie Tiques during a Florida-Georgia weekend. Many years later we worked together and I got to know Jim as the kind, genuine person he really was. We were both at a conference together when he first met his beloved Marie so many years ago. Jim Akers was truly one-of-a-kind. He will be dearly missed and absolutely fondly remembered.
Scott Arnold
September 24, 2019
Donna and I have known Jim for over 25 years. We worked together at JFPA. Jim always had a kind word and a pleasent smile. He will be missed. Rest in Peace our Friend
Lou & Donna Babilino
September 24, 2019
My thoughts and prayers are with the Akers family. I had the pleasure of meeting and speaking with Jim as a part of the New Heights Board of Directors. He will be missed.
Angie Greene
September 24, 2019
I had the pleasure of working side by side with Jim at Annie Tiques. His contagious smile and laugh will always be with me. Our thoughts and prayers go out to the entire family.
David Berlin
September 24, 2019
Say not in grief: "He is no more", but live in thankfulness that he was. We will all miss Jim very much....my heart today is with Marie and Eric. So many accomplishments, a wealth of hopes and dreams fulfilled, so many days well-lived and now a legacy to celebrate. I remember especially the shared years at Louisville Presbyterian Seminary and all the wonderful music we made together and the practical jokes that were pulled to lighten up our time there. Seems like jokes and Jim's wonderful sense of humor kept us together on this end of our lives too! His love of life (living it with gusto) and compassion endeared him to me. The Bible reminds us that "Blessed are those that mourn for they shall be comforted." I pray that this will be especially true for those who loved him. The celebration of Jim's life will hopefully help all of us to grieve, heal and go on as he would want us to. Blessings, Judy Burnett Albright
Judy Burnett Albright
September 24, 2019
Jim was a very good man. Serving with him in the National Guard was a privilege and always a pleasure. May God Bless Jim and all who loved him.
Stephen Willett
September 24, 2019
MG Harrison and LTC Akers
Remembered as a wonderful inspiration to all of us, Rest in Peace Jim.
Lisa Parker
September 23, 2019
I was one of Jim's volunteers at the Channel 7 auctions years ago and got to know him well. What a fun, dedicated and interesting individual. His contributions to the community were great. Jim's presence could light up a room and create warmth and laughter. We will miss you, Jim. -- Mike Goldman
Mike Goldman
September 23, 2019
Jerry Shields
September 23, 2019
Jim was a true friend and mentor. He was a kind and generous person who genuinely cared for his follow human beings. The world is reduced because of his passing and I miss him.
Sharon Simmons
September 23, 2019
From AnnieTiques to WJCT to Real Estate, Jim was always a good friend. He will be missed.
Mary Farwell
September 20, 2019
Jim will be so missed.... I have been friends with Jim since the 70's. Our fun times at Annie Tiques and Captain Whirlybird. Jim stopping by the office on San Jose to check on everything and cheer me up and make me laugh. The beautiful bird pictures he place on facebook would make your day and bring a smile to your face. My dear friend Capital Jim Whirlybird will be truly missed. My thoughts and prayers are with the family.
Pat Malmind
September 20, 2019
Heartfelt Condolences Arrangement- BASKET INCLUDED
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Susan Driscoll
September 20, 2019
Jim served on the Board of Directors of New Heights of Northeast Florida. He truly loved the organization and those that we serve. He was an advocate for persons with disabilities, always sharing his passion with us. We will truly miss him. All of us here at New Heights send our sympathy and prayers to Jim's family. May he rest in peace.
Sue Driscoll
September 20, 2019
I knew Jim from the schooling we had to take in the military. He is was a great guy and entertaining with his beanie/propeller hat. He will be missed and my sincerely condolences to his loved ones.
Tom Taylor
September 20, 2019
My prayers go to Jims family. He was the most wonderful man and hell be greatly missed.
Jerre Breitbart
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