James M. Akridge

October 18, 1930 - March 27, 2023

James Matthew Akridge departed this life on March 27, 2023 at Stanleytown Health Center after a long illness. He was born on October 18, 1930 to the late Elder James B. Akridge and Christine Akridge. He was married to the late Lillie Mae Copening Akridge for 71 years, who only just passed a few months ago.

He was pastor of Kitson Memorial Baptist Church in Henry Va. for almost 40 years – “Help me somebody”, which was one of his favorite lines from his sermons. He loved fishing but God called him to be one of His “fishers of men”. He was a member of the prayer band that included Oak Hill Baptist Church, Friendship Baptist Church and Kitson. He was also a prominent member of the Smith River Baptist Association Ministers’ Alliance. He enjoyed good Gospel singing and especially guitar playing.He worked at JD Bassett Furniture in the finishing room for more than 40 years, probably trained or supervised everybody that ever worked there. You could say he was a jack of all trades - from mechanic to plumber to electrician to carpenter - even built his house, with his father’s help. And every year in August, he & his wife were part of the driving force in bringing the Akridge family reunion together with the community in memorable food and fellowship!

In addition to his parents and wife, he was preceded in death by his oldest son, Dawson Akridge, his brothers – Utah Akridge, Joseph Akridge, John Akridge and Robert Akridge and his sisters – Hattie Edwards, Hastie Moore and Mary (Sister) Akridge.

He leaves to cherish: one sister, Elizabeth (Liz) Norman; his son Jeffrey Akridge (Janice) of Bassett; his daughters, Valarie Dickson (Jimmy) of Temple Hills, MD, Rachel Akridge of Bassett, Jennifer Saunders (Darius) of Ferrum and Daphne Swindell (Johnnie) of Wendell, NC and his loving grandchildren, great-grandchildren, nieces, nephews, church family and many friends.

A visitation will be held on Saturday, April 1, 2023 from 12:00 to 1:00 PM at Collins Funeral Home, 30 Riverside Hwy, Bassett, VA with a funeral service to follow at 1:00 PM. Interment will follow in the Akridge Family Cemetery, 142 Oakhill Drive, Bassett, VA.

Online condolences at www.collinsmckeestonebassett.com

Collins Funeral Home is respectfully serving the Akridge family.