John Franklin Akeley

of Lubbock, TX

May 20, 1938 - November 3, 2020

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John Franklin Akeley, 82, of Lubbock, Texas and Sandwich, Cape Cod, Massachusetts, passed away on Tuesday, November 3, 2020 in Lubbock. John was born on May 20, 1938 in Presque Isle, Maine to John McBride Akeley and Katherine Akeley. He was raised in Skowhegan, Massachusetts and graduated from Skowhegan High School. He attended the University of Maine and received his Bachelor of Education with a Minor in Music from Boston College, his Masters from Cambridge College, and his Doctorate from Harvard University. He was married to Anne Francis Freneir Akeley, and she preceded him in death in 1999. They had lived in Sandwich and Newton, Massachusetts. John had worked as the Headmaster for private schools in the Dover-Sherborn, Massachusetts area. He was an accomplished pianist, singer, artist, and painter. He had toured and performed all over the world with choirs and for the USO Tours. He was well known in Sandwich “Cape Cod” as “The Mayor” and for his volunteer work. He married William Denzal Smith on August 17, 2007 in Provincetown, Massachusetts, and they lived in Sandwich, “Cape Cod”, Massachusetts and Lubbock, Texas. He had a great sense of humor, loved to socialize with everyone, was joyous, saw the best in everyone, and was always beautifully dressed and smelled good. He was a current member of the First United Methodist Church in Lubbock, and John and Denzal were faithful and dedicated to the Hi Robinson Class at the church. They were also members of The Episcopal Church of Saint Mary in Barnstable, Massachusetts. He was preceded in death by his parents and sister, Jean Frances Akeley.

John is survived by his husband, Wm. Denzal Smith of Lubbock, Texas and Sandwich “Cape Cod”, Massachusetts, adopted sister and brother, Gailynn and Bobby Haynes of Lubbock, and by numerous cousins and special friends.

Cremation arrangements are under the personal care of Combest Family Funeral Homes in Lubbock. The family will gather to celebrate his life at a memorial service and inurnment of cremated remains in the spring at Saint Peters Cemetery in Sandwich “Cape Cod”, Massachusetts with Rev. Rodney Deschaine officiating. Please visit for more information.

Memorials may be sent to the First United Methodist Church, [%]Music Department, 1411 Broadway, Lubbock, Texas 79401. The family would like to thank the Wilshire Place staff for their loving and tender care of John.

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2 Condolence(s)
Rilda Moore
Sunday, November 15, 2020

So happy that I knew John, we were friends, . My love and sympathy to you , Denzal. ,love and prayers, Aunt Rilda

Estella Moore
Lubbock, TX
Tuesday, November 10, 2020

To all of John Ackelys’ family, I would love to extend my warm condolences to his family; i’m saddened that John left us too soon; John was a great man n indeed very gentleman style n classy; I will miss his smile n laughter now that he’s gone; r.i.p my friend, “ Fly High”💔🕊