Lewis Adkins Obituary
 
In Memory of

Lewis Floyd Adkins Jr.

June 15, 1920 - May 17, 2011
Obituary

Lewis Floyd Adkins, Jr., age 90, of Norman, Oklahoma was pronounced dead Tuesday, May 17, 2011. He died in his home of natural causes. Floyd was born June 15, 1920 in Custer City, Oklahoma to L.F. Adkins, Sr. and Norabelle Adkins. Floyd had two brothers, Charles and Billy and two sisters, Betty and Jimmie. He grew up on Adkins Hill, South of Norman. He attended Washington Public Schools, graduating from Washington High School on May 25, 1939. He then attended the University of Oklahoma for a semester before heading off to support the war effort by working for the Douglas Aircraft Company. In 1941 the U.S. War Department created what...
Lewis Floyd Adkins, Jr., age 90, of Norman, Oklahoma was pronounced dead Tuesday, May 17, 2011. He died in his home of natural causes.
Floyd was born June 15, 1920 in Custer City, Oklahoma to L.F. Adkins, Sr. and Norabelle Adkins. Floyd had two brothers, Charles and Billy and two sisters, Betty and Jimmie. He grew up on Adkins Hill, South of Norman. He attended Washington Public Schools, graduating from Washington High School on May 25, 1939. He then attended the University of Oklahoma for a semester before heading off to support the war effort by working for the Douglas Aircraft Company.
In 1941 the U.S. War Department created what became Tinker Air Force Base at the site of the Douglas Aircraft factory located in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma. Floyd accepted a position with Tinker as an aircraft equipment specialist and began his career in government service. While at Tinker, Floyd worked on many aircraft, but he became a technical expert and chief troubleshooter for the KC-135 Stratotanker. In this role he travelled across the United States and around the world to such exotic locales as Wake Island and Greenland troubleshooting issues with this important aircraft. In fact, Floyd made a change recommendation to the instrument panel of the KC-135 which both addressed a potential safety issue and saved the country $1,913,340. As a result, he received a commendation for this initiative.
Floyd was proud of the numerous tools he invented while working at Tinker to increase the efficiency of completing aircraft maintenance. He was also proud of his horticulture skills and in fact received official recognition for some of the flowers he grew on base. At the time of his retirement for medical reasons, Floyd was a GS-13. Never wanting to stray too far from his mechanic's bench, he was self employed as an auto mechanic following retirement.
In 1943, Floyd met Sunshine, his sister's home economics teacher at a FHA Convention. He and the former Velma Sunshine Yarbrough began dating and were married on June 15, 1944. Their family began the following year with the birth of Ann in 1945 and then Beverly in 1946.
Floyd built their first house at night and on weekends. Once they outgrew it he built their second house the same way. As a testament to his craftsmanship, when the local inspector reviewed Floyd's work, he said that he had never seen a house with such square corners and plumb walls. Considering Floyd had done everything but the stonework, and the kitchen and bathroom cabinets, that was quite a compliment. Floyd continued to live in this house until the time of his death.
While at home he continued to cultivate his gardening skills with a bountiful vegetable garden and beautiful rose bushes. He was also very proud of "his" Purple Martins. Annually Floyd would put up freshly clean bird houses for the returning flock of birds that would nest on his property.
His love of the outdoors extended to hunting and fishing. He hunted and fished throughout the United States and Canada and even took trips to Alaska. His prize trophy was an 11 point whitetail deer harvested in 1973 in the wilderness area Northeast of Broken Bow, Oklahoma.
Being a hunter, Floyd was a member of the National Rifle Association. He was also a member of the Washington Masonic Lodge and the Scottish Rite Society of Central Oklahoma and conferred the honor of 32nd degree mason. Additionally, Floyd was a member of the India Shriners Chapter of the Shriners International. Floyd had other talents as well. When he was younger he sang in the First Baptist Church choir and led the singing for his men's Sunday school class.
Floyd was predeceased by his Mother, Norabelle and father L.F. Adkins, Sr.; sister, Betty Melton; brother, Charles Adkins; and wife, Dr. Sunshine Adkins. He is survived by his daughters Ann Rhea and Beverly Adkins; his grandchildren, John Rhea, Kem Marley, and Mark Rhea; great grandchildren, Parker Rhea, Daxton Marley, Presley Rhea, Kolin Marley, and Paytan Rhea; brother, Billy Adkins; and sister Jimmie Bourgeois.
There will be a private family memorial. In lieu of flowers, please send donations to Shriners Hospitals for Children, Office of Development, 2900 Rocky Point Drive, Tampa, FL 33607.

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