Cover photo for James Frederick Akers's Obituary
1947 Jim 2024

James Frederick Akers

April 11, 1947 — February 25, 2024

Logan, Utah

**A celebration of Jim’s life will be held on Sunday, April 28, 2024, from 4-7 pm at the Logan Golf and Country Club.**


Jim Akers, 76, passed away on Sunday, February 25, 2024 in Logan, Utah. He had been living with cancer since 2019, first with non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma and later with metastatic melanoma which he attributed to growing up in southern California during the surfing craze and trying to tan his fair skin to be a cool, surfer dude. Jim was born on April 11, 1947 in Palm Springs to Oliver Bruce Akers and Ruth Isabelle Day Akers and was younger brother to his sister, Tahne Gay. The Akers family eventually settled in Burbank, CA where Jim attended school, graduating from John Burroughs High School followed by a B.S. from University of Southern California in biochemistry and subsequent California teaching certificate. 

Shortly after graduating from USC, Jim married Judi McGill, and they had two children, Jennie and Jonas. Jim and Judi later divorced. Jim spent the first 10 years of his career teaching middle school science and later teaching physics and astronomy at La Crescenta High School. Once he got over his surfing itch, Jim fell in love with the Sierras and pursued everything related to mountains. However, in the late 1980s, the L.A. smog got to him and he made what he referred to as “The Great Escape” to Jackson Hole, WY teaching physics and astronomy, while building classroom demonstration models for which he was well-known.

It was during his 10 years in Jackson that his pursuit of the mountains came into full flower, becoming a strong, graceful skier, mountaineer, rock climber, working summers as an Exum Mountain Guide and leading groups up the Grand Teton as well as traveling with friends to climb anything vertical. Jim also served on the board of the Teton Science Schools.

Jim’s next transition was to decide to pursue further studies at Utah State University, moving to Logan, UT in 1990. As a graduate student, he was hired as an assistant at the Early Intervention Research Institute. There he met a senior researcher, Adrienne Peterson, with whom he fell in love and they were married one year later in 1992. Jim also acquired two bonus children – Celia Peterson and Ian Peterson. Upon graduation, Jim was hired as a program manager and data analyst at the same institute. Jim and Adrienne were fortunate to be able to travel internationally for conferences and grant work and especially loved Bhutan, Jordan and Morocco. 

Jim was not affiliated with any religion well into his 50s when he was invited to attend a Buddhist sangha by some friends and something finally clicked for him. Jim then became a dedicated Buddhist practitioner in the local Buddhist community of Cache Valley.

In 2007, when Jim turned 60, he decided to retire early. His reason? To have at least 10 good years to ski, hike, climb and spend lots of time in the southern Utah desert. He actually got a good 12 years in before his first dance with cancer. Jim’s Buddhist practice enabled to sit with this next life challenge and to be with it, striving to avoid wrestling with that which he could not control. Jim's spirit continues through his wife, Adrienne; his children, Jennifer, Jonas (Samantha), Celia, and Ian Peterson (Charity), who together reflect the love and lessons he imparted. Jim is also survived by his sister Tahne Harris (David), nephew Timba Harris (Josie), and grand nephew Cassius Clay-Harris. Jim’s care and treatment was provided by Logan’s Gossner Cancer Center with special acknowledgement to Dr. Richard Johnson, Todd Hamblin, NP, and Kyle Raymond, PA, who cared for Jim with incredible skill and caring hearts. We are grateful to the entire care team at the Gossner Center as well as CNS Hospice which anticipated his every need during his last days.  

A prayer service will be held on Friday, March 8 at 10:30 A.M. at St. Thomas Aquinas Church in Hyde Park. A celebration of Jim’s life will be held on Sunday, April 28, 2024 from 4-7pm at the Logan Golf and Country Club. In lieu of flowers, donations in Jim’s memory can be made to the Gossner Cancer Center, Stokes Nature Center or the Plant a Tree option on the White Pine Funeral Services website. Jim's legacy of adventure, education, and kindness will be remembered by all who knew him.

Jim's Prayer Service can be viewed via Zoom at: CLICK HERE TO WATCH LIVE

To order memorial trees or send flowers to the family in memory of James Frederick Akers, please visit our flower store.

Service Schedule

Upcoming Services

Celebration of Life

Sunday, April 28, 2024

4:00 - 7:00 pm (Mountain time)

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Past Services

Prayer Service

Friday, March 8, 2024

10:30 - 11:30 am (Mountain time)

St Thomas Aquinas Catholic Church

725 S 250 E, Hyde Park, UT 84318

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