Ernest Maynard Adkins, Jr, 72, passed away on April 14, 2020 in his home in Mesa, AZ. He was born in Paxton, IL to mother Louisa Catherine Kofoid Adkins. He attended Salem High School in Salem, IL, graduating with the class of 1966. He also attended Southern Illinois University and eventually graduated from Southern Baptist University in Boliver, MO with the class of 1976 with a bachelor’s in Religious Education.
With his love of learning and talent for construction he held many careers over his lifetime, but all who knew him knew of the great joy he received from working as an instructor at Perryville Prison through Rio Salado College. From the words of a student, “The world lost a great man and dear friend. [He] had a huge role in my success in life and learning to love myself. He never saw my mistakes [ ] he taught me to love people no matter what [by] loving me. He challenged me in work and in life. I am blessed to have known him, worked with him, been cared about by him [ ] May his family know what a huge role he played in helping people and changing lives – he forever changed mine!”
A flying enthusiast, he won awards for sky diving and obtained his private pilot’s license, a goal he shared with his son Ernie. He shared an interest in the paranormal with his daughter Stephanie, together they purchased the historic haunted McInteer Villa in Atchison, KS.
A proud and loving father, he is survived by his children, son Ernest M Adkins III and spouse Candace Adkins, and daughter Stephanie R Neal and spouse Jeffrey D Neal; grandchildren Alex Adkins-Terbush and spouse Tanner Terbush, Connor O’Reilly, Jeffrey M Neal, Logan O’Reilly, Tyler Adkins and Savannah Lewis; great-grandchildren Colton Terbush, Gage Adkins, Berkley Terbush, and Bentley Terbush; domestic partner Lisa Main, former spouse Merry Jo Adkins; siblings Annette Adkins, Tammy Strong, and Phillip Adkins; best friend Ron Barber and his beloved Yorkshire Terrier, Bailey. He is preceded in death by his dear mother.
A memorial and celebration of life is being planned and notice will be sent once a date is determined. Memorial donations may be made in Ernest’s name to Arizona Small Dog Rescue at 1102 W Hatcher Road, Phoenix, AZ 85021 or by calling 602-944-2440.