Sammy Atkins left his earthly life early Monday morning on November 21, 2022, destined for a much better life in Heaven.
He was met at Heaven’s Pearly Gates by his mother and father, Ruth and Bud Atkins and his two sisters, Sue Meredith and Penny Huffman. The family has no doubt that Susie Q is already showing him around and introducing him to everyone and that Penny is telling him where to go and when.
He is survived by JoAnn Arthur Atkins, his loving wife of 57 years; his daughter and fiance’, Shelley Atkins and Randy Morris; his son and daughter-in-law, Slater and Melanie Atkins. Also cherishing his memory are his three beautiful granddaughters: Jordan Hughes, Maddy Atkins, and Julia Atkins as well as three special nephews: Marty Meredith, Jon Huffman and Logan Huffman. In addition, he leaves two brothers-in-law: Gerald Meredith and Michael Huffman.
To know Sammy was to know a very energetic, fun loving, and hard-working man. Whatever he did, he did with the enthusiasm and love of a child at Christmas. He and his wife owned and operated the Ben Franklin Store (a.k.a Barton’s or Sammy’s) in Pembroke for over 42 years. He loved all his customers and always had a huge smile and a friendly word for everyone. He loved to joke around and was always ready to lend a helping hand. If you ever visited the store, you can be sure he loved and appreciated your patronage but valued your friendship above all. He also was very likely to assign nicknames to everyone, and they usually stuck for life.
Sammy’s number one love was baseball – playing, coaching, or watching. He played shortstop on local and regional men’s teams for over 52 years, when arthritis finally made him hang up his playing glove. He also coached the local pony league for years (aptly named the Pembroke Yankees) and the Giles County American Legion team where he was more than just a coach. He was a groundskeeper, bus driver, coach, mentor, and friend. Mickey Mantle now has a teammate in Heaven!
Sammy was also an avid golfer. He loved to play most anywhere, but Castle Rock was his home. You could find him there after he closed the store, at Member-Guest tournaments, and most Saturdays and Sundays. He made his peanut butter crackers before leaving for church, raced home to change, and was on the course by 12:05 for tee off. We think he may have slipped out of Sunday Service a tad early on those nice spring and summer days.
Some people may think of farming as a hobby, but those who knew Sammy, knew he spent most of his waking hours working on the farm and enjoyed it very much. He was no stranger to hard work, and he would have been a great poster child for the Army – He did more before 6am than most people did all day! Sammy was also a member of the National Guard where he received an honorable discharge in 1969. During his basic training, he received the trophy for Highest Performance/Best Soldier Award out of his battalion of 200.
Sammy led a full, adventurous life, and the family is thankful for the care he received at the end. We would like to thank the staff and services of Medi Home Health and Hospice, English Meadows and Noble Senior Living. Your constant love and support for Sammy and the family will be cherished in our hearts always.
There will be a Celebration of Life held for all who loved Sammy in his home church of Castle Rock Baptist Church on Saturday, November 26, 2022 at 2:00 PM with Pastors Gary Poff and Eddie Kendall officiating. The family will receive friends at Castle Rock on Saturday, November 26, 2022 from 12:00 PM until 2:00 PM. Following the service, the family would like to invite anyone who will join in a time of fellowship dinner at Castle Rock Baptist Church. While flowers are appreciated, the family suggests, in lieu of flowers, memorial contributions be made to The Alzheimers Association in honor and in loving memory of all of those who suffer all effects from this disease. A guestbook is available to share a sweet story or condolence by visiting www.kendallfuneralhome.com. The staff of Kendall Funeral Home are honored to serve the Atkins family.