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William Edward Akin

William Edward Akin – known as Billy to family and Bill to friends – passed away on Sunday, March 12, 2023, in Rock Island, Ill. Billy was born to William Albert and Alberta Elaine (Cropp) Akin, in Wichita on August 18, 1962. He had two younger sisters, Anita and Lola.

William Edward Akin

When Billy was 6 years old, he was welcomed into the home of foster parents, Bill Racer and Connie Racer (now Hamilton). Living with educators as parents and a church organist for a dad, Billy liked school, participated in church activities, and enjoyed traveling with his family.

When his parents moved to Missouri to teach, Billy attended Belton Public Schools, where he participated in youth football, wrestling, and school plays, and made lifelong friendships. He graduated in the Belton High School Class of 1980.

Billy particularly liked math, so putting that interest to good use, he attended Central Missouri State University and later graduated from Missouri Baptist University in 1988 with a Bachelor of Business Administration degree in accountancy. Recognized as an outstanding student, he was named to Who’s Who Among Students in American Universities and Colleges, 1987-88. During his career, he worked as an accountant at John Hardwick Accounting in St. Charles, Mo., and for Doug Sutton, CPA, in Olathe, Kan.

In 2014, due to physical disabilities, Billy moved to Generations Rehabilitation Care Center in Rock Island. While there, he was chosen as a leader among the residents to advocate on their behalf. He enjoyed playing cards and watching sports with fellow residents, and because of his cheerful personality, many of them and their family members say they counted him among their friends. As a hobby, he often made needlepoint coasters to give as presents.

Early this month, Billy was hospitalized, and a few days later, he passed peacefully with three of his siblings at his side. He was preceded in death by his father, Dr. Bill Racer, his grandparents, Herschel and Alice Racer and Ernie and Fern Rogers; his aunt Elaine Gosney and a special cousin, Patrick Greene.

Mourning his passing are his mother Connie (Al) Hamilton, his sister Holly (Art) Valdivia, brothers Tim (Sara) Racer, Brent (Erin) Racer, Jay (Ashley) Mullinix, Jon Mullinix, and sister-in-law Melissa Racer. Among his relatives, the children of aunts Elaine Gosney, Roberta Patterson, and Iris (Ron) Jackson were his childhood cousins, and later in his life, he was especially close to aunts Phyllis Racer (whom he lived with in St. Charles) and Mary Alice Racer Lyon and cousins, Dr. Cary Lyon (Stephen) Chelladurai and Linda (Gordon) Gregory; extended family Rev. Paul and Kay Greene, Pam Greene, Scott (Lawna) Greene and Jeff (Stacey) Greene; and a multitude of school, church, work, and care center friends. He will be missed by all.

A Celebration of Life is planned for 10:30 A.M. on May 6 at Bradley & Hadley Funeral Home, 1410 E DZF Rd, Clinton, MO 64735. His cremains will be buried in the Racer family plot at Englewood Cemetery. Donations in Billy’s memory will be appreciated to FosterAdopt Connect at or sent to Bradley & Hadley Funeral Home.

Billy was a member of Mid-Rivers Baptist Chapel in Saint Charles, Mo., and as a man of strong Christian faith, he looked forward to the assurances found in the lyrics of “Finally Home”:

“Just think …

Of stepping on shore and finding it Heaven,

Of touching a hand and finding it God’s,

Of breathing new air and finding it Celestial,

Of waking up in Glory and finding it Home!”


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