Harold Atkins, of Middleborough, lived as a loving husband and father, astute businessman, and passionate volunteer, died on Friday, July 9, 2021.
He was a New Year’s Eve baby, born on December 31, 1922. He graduated with a Bachelor’s degree from Rochester Institute of Technology, promptly followed by service in the US Army as a photographer during WW II. He went home and soon married Margaret E. (Clark) Atkins, his wife of 71 years who survives today. Together they raised six children.
In the 1940's, he enjoyed being a Cub-Master. That was the beginning of a lifetime of service to his community. From Cub-Master, he went on to being a Scout Leader, and ultimately a director for the Annawan Council of The Boy Scouts of America. He was a member of the Elks for 74 years making him the oldest member of the Lodge 1274, and was a Mason for more than 75 years. In The Church of Our Savior, he was on the vestry, ushered, and managed many fundraising dinners (that featured foreign cuisine) with the help of his late brother, Donald, the late Fred Bohning, and others. Mr. Atkins also managed dinners for the Middleboro Youth Building and is one of its past presidents.
He received distinguished awards from the Specialty Advertising Association, The Middleborough Chamber of Commerce, The Lions, Masons, Rotary, and Grange.
He was a director of the Mayflower Co-op Bank, as well as the chairman of the Business and Industrial Commission, where he was able to bring several of the businesses near the rotary to town. His best times were spent working as Vice President at Winthrop-Atkins, where he looked at his workers, not as employees, but family.
Harold’s biggest love, however, was his wife and children. As each child was born at St. Luke’s, he would stay home and watch the others. They remember playing with their dad when they were younger. He would get on all-fours. The kids would climb aboard and he would walk around like a horse. To the ultimate thrill of the children, he would toss them in the air and onto the couch, as they laughed in glee. In the summers, Harold and Peg brought their children to places like Mount Rushmore, the Badlands, Death Valley, Yellowstone, Hoover Dam, and Disney Land in California.
In his last days, his kids stayed with him at night if they were able. When he was asleep, he would call out to his wife, “Hey, gorgeous, how are you,” he’d say. “Peg, hon, how about a kiss.” “Can I have a hug, babe?” She was on his mind constantly, even in his dreams. What a tribute of true love.
Harold is survived by his wife Margaret E. Atkins of Middleborough, and his sister Jeanette Louth of West Harwich, and his stepmother Eilene Atkins of Middleborough; their children and spouses are, his eldest daughter, Kathryn Atkins and her husband Andrew, both of North Smithfield, RI; son Douglas C. Atkins and wife Teresa of Carver; daughter Virginia L. Atkins of West Harwich; daughter Martha Edwards and husband Mark of Middleborough; son Charles A. Atkins and wife Lori of Centerville, MA; and his youngest child Robert S. Atkins and wife Tracy of Spring, TX. He also leaves eleven grandchildren, and several great-grandchildren. He was the brother of the late Emily Lindberg and Donald Atkins. He was 98.
Family and friends are welcome to the visiting hours at the Ashley Funeral Home, 35 Oak Street, Middleborough, on Thursday, July 15, 2021, from 4:00-7:00 PM.
Funeral and Interment Services will be private.
Contributions in Harold's memory may be made to the Middleboro Youth Building, P.O. Box 25, Middleborough, MA 02346 or to the Old Colony YMCA Middleboro, 61 East Grove Street, Middleborough, MA 02346.
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