Richard Dick Atkins
Richard Dick Atkins
  • March 13, 1943 - May 25, 2017
  • Corinth, Mississippi

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Dick Atkins, 74, departed this life on May 25, 2017, after an extended illness.
Dick was born March 13, 1943 at his family's home in Acton, Tennessee, the son of Granville and Dorothy Atkins. The Atkins family moved to Corinth in the early 1950's, when Dick was in grade school.
Dick was a 1961 graduate of Corinth High School and a 1965 graduate of Ole Miss, where he played bass drum in the Pride of the South marching band. Following graduation, he taught junior high and high school students, first at Gift Community School, and then at Kossuth. While at Kossuth, he met and married fellow teacher Betty Gwyn Atkins, beginning 39 years of a storybook marriage.
Changing careers in 1972, Dick joined Gould, Inc., (later to become Vendo, Inc) as Personnel Manager. After seven years he began yet another career as administrator at Alcorn County Care Inn, which later became Mississippi Care Center. He served in this capacity for 20 years, making the most of his exceptional interpersonal skills; long after retirement he continued to receive friendly greetings and messages from past co-workers. His first retirement was short-lived, and he soon returned to work at J&A Management in 2001, retiring permanently only in 2009.
A tireless volunteer and community supporter, Dick was a Rotarian, serving as president and a Paul Harris Fellow. He served on the Boards of Directors of United Way, the American Red Cross, the Boys Club, the Corinth Welfare Association (president), and the Mississippi Health Care Association (vice president, secretary, treasurer).
There were four great loves in Dick's life.
He loved God. His love and trust in God were evident to all who knew him, manifested in his love for First Presbyterian Church, where he served as a deacon a later as an elder, a Sunday School teacher and a faithful 60 year member of the Sanctuary Choir. Most recently, he served as chairman of the church's Pastoral Search Committee, diligently leading the group despite his failing health. He was a generous supporter of the FPC's children's and youth programs as well as other faith-based ministries including French Camp Academy, the Lighthouse Foundation, Crosswind Ministries and Oasis Medical Center.
He loved his family. The love of his life was Betty, evidence by his untiring care during her terminal illness. Betty's family was Dick's family, and Betty's sisters Diane Brawner and Mary Jo Morgan, along with their husbands Jerry and Donnie, were his closest friends.
He loved children. Though technically childless, in reality he and Betty had a multitude of children in their church and neighborhood, many of whom adopted Dick as a surrogate grandfather. "Mr. Dick" was their go-to advocate who could always be counted on for a sympathetic ear, a comforting hug, wise advice and an afternoon snack.
He loved his alma mater, Ole Miss, lending his financial and personal support to its athletic teams and academic initiatives.
Dick was preceded in death by his brother Neal, his mother and father, and his beloved Betty. In addition to the aforementioned family, he is survived by sisters-in-law Jean Keaton and Jackie Atkins, nieces Georgana Atkins, Ashley Pirkle, Emily Brawner-Allen, Lisa Keaton-Taylor, Jennifer Morgan and Katie Burress; nephews Neal Atkins, Jack Atkins and Jeff Brawner ten grandnieces and grandnephews; one Godchild, Bobbie Middleton; and cousins and friends too numerous to count.
Dick will be remembered as uncommonly gracious and generous man, as a joyful participant life and as a diligent servant of the Lord. His is a legacy of kindness.
Arrangements are by McPeters Funeral Directors. Visitation will be in the fellowship hall of the First Presbyterian Church 919 Shiloh Road, from 12:30 to 1:45 p.m. on May 27, 2017. Funeral service will be in the FPC sanctuary at 2:00 p.m., with internment to follow at Henry Cemetery. In accordance with his instructions, an ice cream social will be held at the FPC Pavilion immediately following the funeral service.