A.H. Akins has retired after 60 years – including the last 49 as manager – at Franklin EC, Russellville, AL.

Akins, 90, was succeeded in January by Mark Stockton, himself a 40-year veteran of the cooperative.

What makes Akins’ run at Franklin EC particularly remarkable is that he didn’t start there until he was 30. He came to the cooperative from a Russellville car dealership, where he was the service manager.

“After I’d been [at the cooperative] about 10 years,” Akins recalled, “a federal judge in Birmingham, who’d been an attorney here in Russellville, called me and said, ‘I want you to bring your tools up here and tune my car.’”

Stockton started at Franklin EC while he was still in high school. He started full-time as a ground man, working his way up the ranks to operations superintendent in 2010 and assistant manager in 2018.