Margaret Powell Akins, 80, of Lawrence, KS passed away peacefully at her home surrounded by her family on Tuesday, June 25, 2019 in Irvine, CA after a long battle with Alzheimer’s disease. She was born in Shreveport, LA to Sally and Mastern Powell, and had an older sister Sally Ann who predeceased her. She spent her childhood in Minden, LA, where she graduated Valedictorian of Minden High School and also excelled as a swimmer, lifeguard, and was an accomplished pianist.
She attended Centenary College of Louisiana in Shreveport, LA where she was active in choir, and graduated with honors and a B.A. in Mathematics. She met her husband Dee W. Akins III (“Bud”) there and they married on September 30, 1960 in Shreveport. They had two children, Stephen and Kevin.
Margaret was a well-known and much-loved math teacher for many years in Lawrence, KS. She first taught at Central Junior High in the early 1960s and then at South Junior High when it opened in 1969. She taught algebra and geometry to multiple generations of fortunate students. She also enjoyed coaching volleyball and being the MATHCOUNTS Team coach for several years. Margaret had a reputation for putting high expectations on her students and running a “tight ship” in her classes. As a result, she was an excellent teacher for all levels of students, making algebra and geometry understandable and fun for everyone she taught. She was also an ever-present fixture of discipline and authority for lunch duty every day in the SJHS cafeteria. Most importantly, she was also known for tempering her high expectations with genuine care for every student. She retired in 2004 after teaching for more than 44 years.
In retirement Margaret was an avid reader, loyal Kansas Jayhawks basketball fan, accomplished bridge player, she loved her dogs, and was a terrific cook of Southern cuisine. She could cook up a mean pot of gumbo or collard greens, and never turned down an opportunity to invite a gathering of folks to share it with. Her home was always open to friends who needed a good meal or a place to rest their head.
Margaret is survived by her husband Dee of Irvine, CA, son Steve and spouse Sabina and granddaughter Emily of Cary, NC, and son Kevin and spouse Anh Thu of Rancho Palos Verdes, CA, and grandson Jonathan of San Diego, CA. She is also survived by numerous adoring nephews, nieces, cousins, and extended family and friends.
Margaret loved people and loved the beautiful life she lived. There was a celebration of her life on Saturday, July 13, 2019 at 1:00pm at The W Banquet Hall at 704 Connecticut Street in Lawrence. Margaret’s remains will be interred at Lawrence Memorial Park under the direction of Warren-McElwain Mortuary.
The family requests that in lieu of flowers donations be made to the Fisher Center for Alzheimer’s Research Foundation and may be sent in care of Warren-McElwain Mortuary, 120 W. 13th Street, Lawrence, KS 66044.
For more information or to post a condolence go to warrenmcelwain.com.