Macon County Chronicle

County Mourns Passing of Willie Atkins

Willie Delmas Atkins, was born Saturday, July 28, 1945 in Jackson County, TN, the son of the late Earl Thomas and Clora Jane Witcher Atkins, and departed this life Friday, May 21, 2010 at the age of 64 years, 9 months, and 23 days.

Willie was drafted into the United States Army and on October 9, 1965, ten days before his deployment, he married the former Shirley Honaker. Willie endured basic training in Fort Benning Georgia and was then shipped to California, taking Shirley with him to stay on the Army base. He was later deployed to Hawaii, and Shirley went back to her roots, of West Virginia, because during that time, Shirley was pregnant with their first child.

He proudly served his country in the United States Army during the Vietnam Era, receiving the National Defense Service Medal and the Good Conduct Medal, and was Honorably Discharged after two years overseas.

Shortly thereafter, he and Shirley moved back to Tennessee and began to make their home. They were blessed with two healthy daughters, Wendy and Laura Ann.

Willie was a jack-of-all-trades, tinkering around on things with motors, and he especially loved spending time with his family outdoors. Willie loved to fish and was really looking forward to getting his senior fishing license. He also enjoyed the times he could go hunting and camping, and on the holidays when all of his family would meet and catch up on ole’ times.

“I remember when I was little, daddy was hanging garage doors for Alldoor Company out of Nashville,” Laura remembered, “and had many odd and end jobs, until he started working for the Macon County School Board in the Maintenance Department. He also worked at the Post Office in Lafayette for several years, in their Maintenance Department,” she added.

Willy took his mechanical skills to Sumner County and worked with his brother Bruce in their School Maintenance Department. After four or five years, Willie came back to Macon County as the Supervisor for the Maintenance Department, staying there until he retired at the age of 62.

Willie loved the Lord, preaching at Drapers Cross Roads Church of Christ for many years, and was a member of the Lafayette Church of Christ where he served as a Deacon. Willie, Shirley, and Laura resided in the Coleytown Community.

On Friday morning, May 21, 2010 at the VA Medical Center in Nashville, Willie departed this life, with his wife and sister Judy at his side. While in the hospital, Willie was visited by several people who dearly love him, however, some could not make the journey, and wished him God Speed through constant phone calls, and prayers.

Funeral services for Willie Delmas Atkins were conducted on Sunday, May 23, 2010 at 1 p.m. from the Chapel of the Anderson & Son Funeral Home in Lafayette with E.C. Meadows officiating. Interment followed in the Anderson & Son Memorial Park with military honors.  His family and friends served as pallbearers.

Besides his wife, Shirley of 44 years, he is survived by Daughters and Son-in-Law,
Wendy and Dwight Cothron of Hartsville, and Laura Atkins of the Coleytown Community. He has two grandsons, Kyle and Jacob Cothron of Hartsville. He is also survived by his sisters, Wanda Evitts of Gallatin, Nannie Evelyn Loyd of Lafayette, Betty Chandler of Madison, Judy (Donnie) Gammons of the Webbtown Community, and brother, Bruce (Kathleen) Atkins of Gallatin. One Step-Brother, Larry Harper of Lafayette, and Step-Mother, Virginia Atkins of Lafayette. Willie will be remembered by all of his other family members, and a host of friends.