Gustav “Trey” Joseph Akerland III ~ Class of 1970


Trey Akerland Class of 1970

Arrived ~ August 5, 1952

Departed ~ January 21, 1969

Accounting of Trey’s death as written by his Mother

Ida Akerland wrote:

As we went through the gate, I turned and saw the smoke rising and thought of Kahil Gibran’s words: For what is it to die but to stand naked in the wind and to melt into the Sun? As of today, we still don’t know why Trey wanted to leave us.


It was a pleasure to see you at the ISB reunion this past weekend in Nashville. Attached you will find a PDF of the letter that my mother wrote regarding the circumstances surrounding my brother Trey’s death. This is the same letter that you used your phone to copy. I thought that the PDF would be useful to you. Please feel free to use as you wish to update the information about Trey on the ISB Network website. I spoke with Jon Cole at his book signing. He remembered Trey and thought that he had been killed on train tracks. I’m sure there are others who have incorrect information regarding the circumstances of Trey’s death. I’d like to correct the record about how Trey died. Hopefully my mother’s account can fix that. For the record, my parents’ names are Gus and Ida Akerland. Trey was named after his grandfather and father. He was the third, thus the nickname of “Trey”. I also know that I am now probably the only living person who was there when Trey died, and if I don’t get the record corrected then it will always be a mystery. I have always wanted to live my life openly and honestly and this is one aspect of my life that perhaps I can correct.

I could not have done this sixteen years ago when we first met at the Bangkok ISB 50th anniversary. That was the first time that I had been back since I attended ISB. I had the opportunity to go back to the building where we had lived and to stand on the spot where Trey had died. That certainly was a cathartic experience for me. Your presence in my life at that time has helped me to be where I am today to share this information with you. I am now 60 and it has been almost 50 years since Trey died. I know we each have our own life journeys to travel and this experience has been mine. Thank you for being apart of helping me have a greater experience of being whole.

I look forward to meeting again,
Chuck Akerland ’76

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