Ray Leland Aikins
Ray Aikins, 87, of LaHarpe, Kan., passed away Saturday, Jan. 5, 2013, at his residence.
Ray was born at South Mound, Kan., on Sept. 30, 1925, the son of Oliver and Anna (Beecher) Aikins.
He married Zana Neagle on June 29, 1945, in Girard, Kan. To this union, his children were born. They later divorced. On Feb. 5, 1982, he married Helen Christy in Miami, Okla. She preceded him in death on May 14, 2001.
When Ray was young, he and his family moved to a farm near Shaw, Kan., and he attended South Valley School. Ray and his twin brother, Roy, joined the Navy. During WWII he served in the South Pacific and was at the battles of Iwo Jima and Okinawa.
He was awarded the WWII Victory Medal, American Campaign Medal, Asiatic Pacific Campaign Medal with two stars and the Philippine Victory Bar. After the war, he worked at the Army Ammunition Plant in Parsons.
In 1955, he started working for the Chanute Fire Department and later he worked for the Chanute Police Department as a patrolman. After his retirement in 1976 he drove a bus for USD 413 for several years.
Ray is survived by six children, Steve and Glenda Aikins of Altamont, Kan., Linda and Leon Heer of Pittsburg, Kan., Rita and Rick Berntsen of Iola, Kan., Richard and Lisa Aikins of Mound City, Kan., Scott and Ellen Aikins of Humboldt, Kan., and Nancy and David Axtell of Wichita, Kan.; 17 grandchildren, 19 great-grandchildren, several step-grandchildren and one brother, Dean Aikins of Chanute, Kan.
He was preceded in death by his parents; five brothers, Clarence, Carl, Forrest, Harry, and his twin, Roy Aikins; one sister, Babe Thompson; one grandson, Steve Aikins Jr.; and his first wife, Zana Aikins.
The family will receive friends on Tuesday, Jan. 8, 2013, from 6 until 8 p.m. at the Penwell-Gabel Johnson Chapel.
Funeral services will be held at 1 p.m. on Wednesday, Jan. 9, 2013, at Iola Baptist Temple, located at 426 N. Second, Iola, Kan., 66749. Burial will follow in Mt. Moriah Cemetery in rural Stark.
Memorials in his name may be made to the Ray Aikins Mission Fund and will be used for Christian mission work and may be left with the funeral home.
Penwell-Gabel Johnson Chapel is in charge of arrangements.