For 34 years (with time off due to military moves) Mary has been involved with one of her most favorite pastimes–at the bowling center with “ her kids”.
Mary became involved in bowling in 1970, when her first child, Lorin, was 6 years old, while stationed in California. As a result, she started helping with the Bantams and became “hooked” on coaching. She was already involved with little league baseball and cub scouts, but found that working with youth bowlers, everyone got to bowl 100% of the time.
From this beginning, it led to her becoming more interested and involved in WIBC as well. Not only was she coaching, but she organized the Squadron Wives Club Bowling league, and was bowling on 4 teams. She continued her involvement and began to hold office in both the YABA and WIBC local associations. During her stay in Holland, she was the YABA association secretary/treasurer, WIBC director, and head coach for the youth bowlers, and the league secretary of a 24-team mixed doubles league. This proved to be quite challenging, because the house only had 4 lanes! While living in Tucson, Arizona for 3 years, she held association offices of YABA President and Secretary/Treasurer and head coach of the Major-Seniors. In her “spare time,” she always managed to attend and support the athletic activities of her 3 children, who also were bowlers.
She has been involved with YABA in South Carolina since arriving here in 1980. In the past 24 years, she, along with her husband Lloyd, (SCSYABA Hall of Fame, 1996) and other coaches, established the Shaw Youth Bowler of the Month, and Bowler of the Year association sponsored events. The Shaw YABA family also gets together each year to sponsor Thanksgiving and Christmas Baskets for needy families. They also host 2 youth-adult tournaments each year as a means of getting the parents involved with their children.
Mary has been a familiar fixture at the State level, attending Jamborees and State meetings, usually as a delegate, with Lloyd, who has been the director from Shaw for years. She also served on various committees at the State level. At Shaw, she has held every local association office, and has been head coach for both Bantam-Preps and the Junior-Major-Seniors leagues. She is presently the Shaw YABA Secretary/Treasurer, and Head Coach for the Junior-Major-Seniors league. Mary has been the secretary/treasurer of the Shaw Commissary Bowling League, that she organized 15 years ago, and is still going strong.
Mary has worked for the Dept of Defense for the past 24 years and is presently the Supply Tech for the Defense Commissary Agency. She and Lloyd have 3 children, all former YABA bowlers. In fact, her daughter, Marina Akers-Epps, is a former Junior Leader and is a recipient of a SCSYABA scholarship, which helped her at Newberry College. Marina is also a member of the 2004 SCWBA Championship team, and is the Women’s Bowling Coach for South Carolina State University. Mary and Lloyd also have 5 granddaughters, 4 who are bowlers, with the eldest, Kathleen, who is a member of the SC State University team.
Mary and Lloyd have been married 38 years (today is their anniversary) and often spend their anniversary at Jamboree. She fully considers her love of Family and a genuine interest in young people as her motivation for her involvement in YABA.
Died 12-21-2015 – Obituary
Mary Lee Marks Akers
Mary Lee Marks Akers, 69, departed this earthly life unexpectedly by an eventual stroke, Monday, Dec. 21, 2015, at Palmetto Health Richland in Columbia.
Born on Aug. 5, 1946, in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, Mary was the oldest of six children born to the late Oliver Sr. and Juanita Mayhew Marks.
Mary attended the public schools of Philadelphia and graduated from: Stanton Elementary School, Gillespie Junior High School and West Philadelphia High School. She attended The Community College of Philadelphia; attended and received a medical assistant certificate from Sumter Area Technical College; and completed several credit hours toward an associate degree in business from Sumter Area Technical College.
On Oct. 1, 1966, Mary married her childhood sweetheart, Lloyd E. Akers, who was then an airman stationed at Andrews Air Force Base, Washington, D.C. To this union three children were born, Lorin of Phoenix, Arizona, Marina Akers-Epps of Fort Washington, Maryland, and Lloyd Akers II of Sumter. It was in Sumter that she started her government career.
Mary worked as a postal clerk in 1967 in Washington, D.C. She transferred to the post office in Philadelphia in 1968, when Lloyd was reassigned to Korat Air Force Base, Thailand, for one year. She worked as a BX customer service clerk in Travis Air Force Base, California, from 1969-1974, and from 1974-1977 in Soesterberg Air Force Base, Holland. She was a dining club receptionist in the NCO Club in Tucson, Arizona, from 1977-1980. After being reassigned to Shaw Air Force Base in 1980, and for the next 25 years, she was an admin clerk at Fort Jackson Army Base. From 1981-1982, she worked as a keypunch machine operator at Shaw; from 1982-1984, she worked for the deputy commander for maintenance where she represented the squadron as the “Civilian Employee of the Month,” and at Shaw Commissary, 1984-2006. At the commissary, she started working in the accounting section until she was promoted to the position of supply technician, which was converted to commissary support clerk. There she received several “Outstanding” appraisal awards. In August 2006, Mary retired with 23 years of total active federal service.
Mary was a huge community supporter/director. She organized the Commissary Bowling League during the Persian Gulf War and served as the league secretary from the league’s inception. She also helped organize the commissary’s participation in “Operation True Giving.” She was the fifth vice-president of the American Federation of Government Employees, Local 1872. She was a former member of the Hillcrest High School Athletic and Band Booster clubs and Crestwood High School Athletic Booster club; where she was more like a team mother to all students that participated.
She was a Shaw Youth Bowling Coordinator, 45 years as a youth bowling coach and was inducted into the S.C. State Bowling “Hall of Fame” in 2004.
Mary was raised up in a Christian home and became a member of Thankful Baptist Church, Philadelphia, on March 1, 1961. She was an active member of Jehovah Missionary Baptist Church from 1990 where she served on many ministries – hospitality, The Golden Ministry, the Armed Forces and Athletic ministries.
“Ms. Mary,” as she was affectionately called by all who knew her, has touched so many lives with her sweet disposition, her gentle touch, her kindness but most of all her love of God. She was a true example of a giving and loving Christian woman. She will be missed. But all are glad to have had the opportunity to know her.
“Ms. Mary” is survived by her husband of 49 years, Lloyd E Akers; three children, Lorin Akers of Phoenix, Arizona, Marina Akers-Epps of Fort Washington, Maryland, and Lloyd II of the home; seven granddaughters, Kathleen Akers, Nichelle Akers, Kiera Cain, Marina Akers Jr., Deborah Epps, La’Asia Akers and Micah Akers; two grandsons, Lloyd Akers III and Darnell Akers; four great-grandchildren, Jaylen Cain, Skylar Belton, Zariah Grant and BJ Cain; one sister, Juanita Boyer (Lefty) of Philadelphia; three brothers, Edward (Lois) Marks of Deptford, New Jersey, Stanley(Maryanne) Marks of Philadelphia, and Donald (Bonnie) Marks of Baconton, Georgia; a sister-in-law, Beatrice Marks of Philadelphia; a special sister-friend, Francis Watson of Sumter; and a host of nieces, nephews and friends.
She was preceded in death by her parents; one sister Janice (Robert – deceased) Sewell; and an older brother, Oliver Jr.
Public viewing will be held from 2 to 6 p.m. today at Job’s Mortuary.
Mrs. Akers will be placed in the church on Monday at 9 a.m. for viewing until the hour of service.
Funeral service will be held at 10 a.m. Monday at Jehovah Missionary Baptist Church with Pastor Marion H. Newton, officiating.
Interment will follow in Fort Jackson National Cemetery, Columbia.
Family will be receiving friends at the home 5416 Pinefield Road, Sumter.
In lieu of flowers, make contributions to Jehovah Missionary Baptist Church (VISION).
Job’s Mortuary Inc., 312 S. Main St., Sumter, is in charge of arrangements.