GLENS FALLS, N.Y. -- Roy Akins died Sunday morning with his family at his side after battling brain cancer and complications surrounding the disease which he has suffered from since last April.
Deputy Mayor Mike Mender says the city's heart is broken by the loss of one of Glens Falls' greatest advocates and servants.
The 66-year old Akins was a Glens Falls native whose career culminated with several successes for the city, including the rebuilding of the Henry Hudson townhouses, now the village green apartments, and the revitalization of downtown Glens Falls and the construction of the city's roundabout.
Akins grew up in the city and graduated from Glens Falls High School. Afterwards he enlisted in the Navy. He later married his Phyllis Norton and they raised three kids together.
Professionally, Akins ventured into radio broadcasting, and eventually developed the radio broadcast program at Adirondack Community College. He also worked as Warren County's Tourism Director at one time. He said, however, that he always wanted to lead the city of Glens Falls into a new era and while he ran for Mayor he launched a campaign calling the city "America's Hometown for the 21st Century".
According to those around him, he worked tirelessly to make positive changes for the city. Akins took office in January of 2006, after defeating four opponents. Akins did not like to focus on his sickness and instead continued to focus on his work, even appearing at the ribbon cutting for the village green apartments less than 2 weeks ago.
He had been out of work since May after emergency surgery for complications surrounding his cancer treatments.
Councilman at large Jack Diamond had been filling in in his absence.
I came to know Akins though the two years I have spent covering the North Country and he was always accessible and willing to answer questions, and spent lots of time talking about his love of the North Country and the city of Glens Falls.
Shortly after his passing, the family released this statement.
His wife of 42 years, Phyllis says:
"He was a wonderful husband, father and grandfather and a dedicated public servant. Though we will miss him terribly, we know he has touched so many in a positive way that his legacy will live on."
The Akins family adds:
"The family sincerely appreciates all the love and support they've received from the city, family, and friends over these past weeks of the Mayor's illness. We would specifically like to thank the staff of Warren County Health Services, the staff at High Peaks Hospice and the oncology staff at Glens Falls Hospital."