James Vann ‘Jimmy’ Eakins, 81, left Lower Cape Fear Hospice Care Center Sunday, June 12, 2016, for his eternal trip to heaven after a 15-year, courageous battle with Parkinson’s Disease. God needed a farmer, so He picked Jimmy Eakins.
Following his graduation from Atkinson High School in 1953, Jimmy began serving a tour of duty in the U.S. Army. During his time in the military, he was called home to take over the family farm due to his father’s illness. Jimmy was born November 11, 1934, in Wilmington, the son of the late Clarence Colwell and Aubrey Register Eakins. Also remembered is his brother, Eugene ‘Gene’ Eakins, who preceded Jimmy in death.
Jimmy leaves behind his loving and devoted wife of 56 years, Hazel Kelly Eakins; daughter (his joy), Teri Lynn Eakins; sister, Anne H. Eakins; sister-in-law, Joan Porter; brother-in-law, Wayne Kelly; special cousin, John David Eakins; caregivers, Mary and B.J. McDuffie; and extended family and friends, many who helped care for Jimmy during his lengthy illness. Hazel, Teri and Anne are thankful for each of you and grateful for all kindness bestowed upon them during Jimmy’s illness.
Jimmy loved farming and doing good deeds for others. He was a lifelong member of Atkinson Baptist Church, where he served as a deacon and trustee. Jimmy was a charter member of Atkinson Volunteer Fire Department. He was active in the community, serving on several community boards, including as chairman of Pender County ASCS Board (now Farm Service Agency), board supervisor for Pender Soil and Water Conservation District and serving on Pender County Farm Bureau Board.
Jimmy loved his entire family and friends with all of his heart and showed his love to them everyday. A man is blessed to have a caring family and faithful friends and Jimmy was such a man. He will be remembered for his gentlemanly character and his love for God. With God’s help, Jimmy was a successful farmer and loved nothing better than tilling the soil on the family’s three-generation farm.
The family will receive friends at 9:30 a.m. Tuesday, June 14, at the sanctuary of Atkinson Baptist Church with services beginning at 11 a.m. The Rev. Kenneth Smith and the Rev. Ottis King will conduct the service. Burial will follow in Register Family Cemetery.
Memorial gifts may be given to Atkinson Baptist Church, P.O. Box 368, Atkinson, NC 28421; or Lower Cape Fear Hospice Foundation, 1414 Physicians Drive, Wilmington, NC 28401.
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