Paul Garland Atkins, 86, of Salem, VA, went home peacefully to be with the Lord on Saturday, April 10, 2021.
He was born on Friday, February 1, 1935, to the late Clarence and Mary Atkins.
He will be remembered most as a loving husband of his late first wife of 55 years, Mary Ann Atkins, and devoted father of their four children, and husband of his late second wife, Jean Arthur: and stepson. Paul was known for his love of gardening, the importance of family and friends, his faith in God, his many carpentry/woodworking skills including his Salem home and garage he built himself, and his love for gospel and bluegrass music. When the call of his country was heard he answered and served his country in the U.S. Navy during the Korean war aboard USS NewKent (APA217) and USS Oakhill (LSD7). Following his service in the U.S. Navy, he worked for Douglas Airforce Co, Ford Motor Company in California, and retired from General Electric in Salem after 35 years of service. In addition to his parents and wives, he was preceded in death by five brothers, Clarence Atkins, Jr., Thomas (Henry) Atkins, Rev. Bill Atkins, Bobby Atkins, Claude Atkins; son-in-law, Robert Chandler; and grandson, Shannon Atkins, and brother-in-law, Billy Morris.
He is survived by his daughters, Suzie Chandler and partner, “Red”, Melanie Hodges and husband, Mike; sons, Tony Atkins, and Jerry Atkins and wife, Karen; stepson, Neal Arthur; brother, Ronnie Atkins, and wife, Diana; sister, Barbara Richardson; sister-in-law, Nancy L Morris; five grandchildren, Matthew Atkins, Tyler Hodges, Stacy Morris and husband, Josh, Heather Chandler, and William; five great-grandchildren; one great-great-grandchild; and numerous nieces and nephews.
A funeral service will be held at 2 p.m. on Wednesday, April 14, 2021, at CommUNITY Church, 1923 East Main St., Salem, VA 24153 with Pastor Thomas McCracken of CommUNITY Church officiating. Burial will follow at Sherwood Memorial Park in Salem where Military Funeral Honors will be rendered by the U.S. Navy. Leonard Kline, Keith Schwallenberg, Ricky Atkins, Howie Atkins, Ronnie Atkins, and Mike Baker are serving as pallbearers.
A visitation was held on Tuesday, April 13, 2021, at the John M. Oakey & Son Funeral Home from 6-8 p.m. Friends may also visit with the family on Wednesday, April 14, 2021, from 1 p.m. until the service hour at the church.
Those attending services are asked to wear a face mask and practice social distancing in accordance with CDC and local government mandates.
In lieu of flowers, donations can be made to St. Jude Children’s Hospital, www.stjude.org/donate.
Online condolences may be sent to the family at www.johnmoakey.com.