John Akeley

John Franklin Akeley, 82, of Lubbock, Texas, and Sandwich died November 3 in Lubbock.

Originally from Maine, he was born in Presque Isle, the son of John McBride Akeley and Katherine Akeley. He was raised in Skowhegan and graduated from high school there. He furthered his education at the University of Maine, then received his bachelor of education degree with a minor in music from Boston College, his master’s degree from Cambridge College, and his doctorate from Harvard University.

The husband of Ann Frances (Freniere) Akeley, she preceded him in death in 1999. They lived in East Sandwich and Newton, and Mr. Akeley worked as the headmaster for private schools in the Dover-Sherborn area.

An accomplished pianist, singer, artist and painter, Mr. Akeley had toured and performed all over the world with choirs and for the USO Tours. He was known in Sandwich as “The Mayor” and for his volunteer work.

He participated as a glassblower in an Open House weekend at Sandwich Glass Museum in March 2003 when the Sandwich Historical Society hosted the culmination of a five-year campaign to “Re-Light the Fires in Sandwich.” Mr. Akeley demonstrated the development of glassmaking through the ages, from ancient traditions to the 19th century when Sandwich made its mark on the glass world.

He had also served on the board of trustees executive committee for the Thornton W. Burgess Society.

Mr. Akeley married William Denzal Smith on August 17, 2007, in Provincetown and they divided their time between Sandwich and Lubbock. With Mr. Smith he was a member of the First United Methodist Church in Lubbock and a member of The Episcopal Church of St. Mary in Barnstable.

In addition to his husband, he leaves numerous cousins.

He was predeceased by a sister, Jean Frances Akeley.

A celebration of his life with a memorial service and inurnment of cremated remains at St. Peter’s Cemetery in Sandwich is planned for the spring.

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