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Akins, Leslie Blandford

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March 29, 1953 - August 1, 2018

Akins, Leslie Blandford

Leslie Blandford Akins, age 65, passed away on Wednesday, August 1, 2018.  Leslie had a very short battle with lung cancer after being diagnosed five days prior to her passing. Leslie was proud to have survived breast cancer.

She was born on March 29, 1953 in Dayton, Ohio to William Orville Blandford and Mary Elizabeth Blandford.  Leslie grew up in Hinsdale, Illinois and moved to Dallas, Texas to attend Southern Methodist University, where she graduated in 1975 with a Bachelor of Business Administration.  After graduation, Leslie worked for Henry S. Miller Companies as Director of Corporate Communications and later founded Blandford-Akins, Inc.  In her marketing career, Leslie was recognized in 2001 as Sales & Marketing Associate of the Year, and later became an Honored Life Director with the Home Builders Association of Greater Dallas.  She was also recognized in 2000 as the Associate of the Year from the Texas Association of Builders.  Leslie served on the Board of Directors for the Make-A-Wish Foundation from 1996-2002.

On May 7, 1983, Leslie married Austin Lee Akins.  She helped raise two children, Jessica and Justin.  Leslie and Austin enjoyed traveling together as well as spending time with family and friends.

Leslie was an immediate friend to everyone she met.  Her hobbies included golfing, swimming, fishing with Austin, and more recently enjoying time with her grandchildren who knew her as LaLa.  She was also a huge fan of the Kentucky Derby.

She is survived by her beloved husband of 35 years, Austin; daughter, Jessica; son, Justin and his wife Lindsay; grandchildren, Gavin Lane, Gunner Blake, and Avery Parker; sister, Karen Hattan and her husband Dick; niece, Elizabeth Hattan Simoni and her husband Brandon and their children Landon and Skylar; sister-in-law, Beverly Akins Rider and sons James Brian and John Brandon; lifetime best friend Chris Pletcher, her husband Jeff and son Danny.  Many friends and business associates will miss Leslie’s positive outlook on life and gracious spirit.

A celebration of life service will be held at 2:00 P.M., Saturday, October 20, 2018 at North Dallas Funeral Chapel located at 2710 Valley View Lane, Dallas, Texas 75234.

In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to the Make-A-Wish-Foundation of North Texas.  The Make-A-Wish Foundation was very close to Leslie’s heart.

2 Corinthians 5:6-8 So we are always of good courage. We know that while we are at home in the body we are away from the Lord, for we walk by faith, not by sight. Yes, we are of good courage, and we would rather be away from the body and at home with the Lord.

Arrangements are under the direction of
ARIA Cremation Service and Funeral Home
19310 Preston Road
Dallas, Texas 75252

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Robert Pavlis

July 21, 2020 11:57AM

I just found out about the passing of Leslie. My condolence’s our to Austin and your family. Leslie was a great friend thru our association in the Dallas Home Builders Assn. She was an amazing person with great talent for marketing and advertising. She worked on many projects for Pavlis Custom Homes. I will miss her very much. God Bless. Bob Pavlis

Ty Milner

April 11, 2019 1:25AM

Well Austin, as is the case from time to time, I look up a friend, client or both on line that I've not heard from in a while, only to read their obituary. My condolence to you and your family, sir. May God in His infinite compassion be with you and your family.

Richard Miller

October 19, 2018 2:11PM

Leslie will be missed. There always a void with an individual of her caliber. She always was the leader, a kind person, and fun to be around. I am truly sorry with her passing. Had the highest respect and regard for Leslie.

Fred Perry

October 16, 2018 8:03AM

Austin, if your friends could wrap arms around you and shield you from the pain of your loss, we would certainly do so. May Leslie Rest In Peace.

M Baker

October 16, 2018 6:19AM

Blessings to All.

Jeanie Floyd Erwin

October 15, 2018 9:25PM

Austin, thinking of you and wishing you moments of peace and comfort. My thoughts are with you and your family.

Pam Honeycutt Schmitz

October 15, 2018 9:17PM

My prayers for the family.

Donna Ziccardi

August 29, 2018 10:44AM

I will always your treasure memories of your smile your laugh and how much fun we had at OCCC. Great travels,too! Thanks for being my friend.

Brooks Workings

August 29, 2018 1:10AM

I am so sorry. She was so loved by all. She inspired people with her zest for life.

Trek and Traci Moilanen

August 16, 2018 11:57AM

Our deepest condolences to Austin and family. For we know that Leslie is in a far greater place in the presence of our Lord, but oh how she will be missed! Leslie was full of joy and laughter and invested deeply in the lives of others. What a privilege to call her friend! We will cherish the memories and never forget the love she poured out on our family.

Bill and Cheryl Sullivan

August 14, 2018 7:36AM

Austin and family,

We are so sorry to hear of Leslie's passing.  She was so full of joy.  We will miss her.  May Christ's peace give you comfort and strength.

Emily Arnot

August 09, 2018 8:28PM

Leslie was a Theta pledge sister at SMU. She was loved and respected by everyone. I had not seen her in years until we had a reunion. It was like we had not missed a day. She was so loving and so fun. My heart breaks for her family. I pray for all her loved ones and friends during this sad time. She is now free of pain and having a ball in heaven! Love and hugs!

Wes Johnson

August 08, 2018 7:21PM

May the peace of Christ be with you Austin and your family during this time of sorrow and grief.

Perri Brackett

August 08, 2018 1:53PM

Memories from sophomore year at SMU when Leslie was my 'suite-mate' and what a year it was! There is an Eskimo proverb that reads: Perhaps they are not stars, but rather openings where the love of our lost ones pours through and shines down upon us to let us know they are happy.' Leslie was a shining star, I hope you find comfort when you look to the stars!

C. Lynn Rogers

August 07, 2018 9:44PM

Comfort and blessings to the family of Leslie. She has many stars in her crown and will live on through her family and firiends. God bless.

Jackie Johnson

August 07, 2018 7:30PM

Oh, Leslie, what a friend you have been. All of those years working on the Parade of Homes together -- promoting builders and associates, and benefiting Make a Wish Foundation -- brought us together and our friendship never ended. I love and respect your spirit and kind nature. You were one of those who just loved life. You weren't on this earth nearly long enough. But you touched so many people while you were here. I bet there were so many people welcoming you to heaven. Was Vonna leading the pack? Save me a place, sweet friend. Some day we will see each other again. Love you!

Joseph R. Johnson, IOM

August 06, 2018 10:09PM

Leslie and I crossed paths many years ago at Cedar Creek Lake and again later at Lancaster where she was promoting a new builder development. She was always detail oriented with these assignments and it showed in the results.
May Leslie leave the pain and suffering behind to sit at the right hand of Jesus, with peace and no pain. And may Austin and his family understand that Leslie is in a much better place now? Grace and Peace!

Wayne & Cathy Tarver

August 06, 2018 7:18PM

Our thoughts and prayers go out to you and your family, Austin. Leslie had such a zest for life and made everyone smile along with her. God bless you at this most difficult time.

Michael Perry

August 06, 2018 3:29PM

Leslie Blandford has been a friend of mine since Elementary School at The Lane in Hinsdale, Illinois. She was always fun to be around and a real supporter of myself and my friends in our crazy theatrical projects. We lost contact after High School, but I re-connected with her several years ago. She was a wonderful person, and I will miss not getting the chance to see her again.

Richard Kaufman

August 06, 2018 2:33PM

Sincere condolences to the Akins family. I first met Leslie in the early 60’s when my family moved to the Hinsdale are from California. She was a great friend through High School and later when she relocated to Dallas. My only regret is that we didn’t connect often enough. She was a great lady with a big heart! She will be missed but not forgotten!

Chuck & Cookie Shepard

August 06, 2018 2:18PM

So sad to hear about Leslie. Walking down memory lane with so many friend at the old Oak Cliff Country Club. We had some great and fun times together. We all love you Leslie and will miss that big smile.

Phil Crone

August 06, 2018 1:52PM

Leslie was an incredible volunteer member of the Dallas Builders Association, especially through our HomeAid and Home Builders Care charities. Whenever there was a good cause to engage in, Leslie was right there on the forefront of it.

Her kindness was a warm reflection of her heart's deep commitment to helping others. Through that she led by example and from that I know she's now in a better place.

I pray that the peace and comfort that now graces Leslie in heaven embraces her family in their time of loss. I also hope they know and appreciate the positive things that she did during a life well lived.

Dick Lee

August 06, 2018 1:24PM

Austin I am deeply sorry Leslie has passed. Please know my thoughts and prayers are with you and your family

John Stolly

August 06, 2018 12:44PM

Leslie was one of my first clients when I opened my graphic design business in 1991, and over the years we worked on hundreds of projects together, and we became friends. Leslie was never my "easiest" client, due to her perfectionism and intense drive, but because of that she brought out the best in my work. She would include me occasionally in preliminary meetings with her clients, and shared the limelight when our work would win an award. I really appreciated that, and we had great mutual respect. Her focus changed over the last few years away from real estate, and we have not worked together recently; and in fact the last time we met was simply to catch up over margaritas. As was mentioned in another tribute here, Leslie was a nexus for "small world" connections, and we had more than a few, including Jessica and my son Jason knowing each other by happenstance when younger. And Leslie or Austin sometimes shopping at the organic grocery where my wife Gina works at Ruibal's Rosemeade Market, coming in to buy the "best cream peas". I am very saddened by the loss, and we wish Austin and the family peace.

Tom Quillin

August 06, 2018 12:27PM

Shocked and sorry to hear this. Our heartfelt condolences to Austin and the family. You are all in our prayers..

Tom Turner

August 06, 2018 10:22AM

Austin and family:

We are so sorry for your loss. May the Lord be with you in the days ahead.

God Bless You,
Tom & Denise Turner


August 06, 2018 8:12AM

Sincere condolences to the Akins family- my heart and prayers are with you in your time of grief.

Becky Murphy

August 06, 2018 2:09AM

Leslie became my sister in a short time and it began as I was her “pool friend”. Austin told me today that while we all knew she was not feeling well at all, she was telling him that she needed to get up and help me with my family reunion and come meet my family. She went into the hospital for the last time just after making that statement and did not get to meet them last weekend. She never met a stranger and was a fighter as I have never seen. One of the last things she said to me was to be open again to relationships because if she had not done that years ago, she would not have “all of this” as she pointed to Austin, Lindsay, Gavin, Gunner and Avery. She was his loving companion and their LaLa. She was also referring to Justin (Lindsay’s husband) and to Jessica. As it turned out, she and I learned we had many “small world” mutual friends. I send my love to all of her family, friends and loved ones and there are many. We all miss you so much, this world is not the same without you.


August 05, 2018 11:07PM

LaLa was one of the first friends I made at the beginning of my breast cancer battle in August 2016. She was full of joy, encouragement, and shone bright. My heart hurts for her loved ones. Wish I could have spent more time in her presence.

Kay Armour and Rick Armour

August 05, 2018 8:37PM

Leslie will be missed.