Reedsport coach, well known community member dies

REEDSPORT, Ore. -- After a year-long battle with cancer, well known Reedsport man Jim Akre has passed away.

The loss of Akre has affected the entire community in Reedsport, as he touched the lives of hundreds of people. Not only as a coach, but as a teacher and as a friend.

Keith Tymchuk, the mayor of Reedsport and close friend of Akre, says he made a huge difference in the community. "Jim Akre was an exceptional individual, he was exactly the type of person you want in a community, who jumped in with a big splash and made things better with almost everything he touched," Keith said.

Akre played a major role in bringing the Umpqua River Lighthouse to Douglas County.

Another close friend of Akre remembers seeing a picture of the lighthouse with him. "All you could see was the bricks as it was being built, and the first thing he said is, "240,000 bricks." That's what it took to construct that, he never missed a teachable moment and he will just really be missed," said Sherri Elliot.

"Jim's passing will leave a tremendous hole in this community," said Tymchuk, "and one that we will feel for a long time."

The Akre family has set up a Facebook page so that people can post pictures and share their favorite memories of Jim.