Sterling Oliver Atkins, Sr., 88, of Hamburg, passed away Sunday, December 24, 2017 at The Woods of Monticello Health and Rehabilitation Center.
Mr. Atkins was a native and life long resident of Hamburg, living within a mile of his birth place his entire life. He was a 1947 graduate of Hamburg High School. Mr. Atkins began working as an Electrician for the Crossett Company in 1949 and retired from the Georgia-Pacific Corporation in 1979. He was 1950s Gold Club member of the Hamburg First United Methodist Church, having joined the church in 1955. A 32nd Degree Mason and member of the Promise Land Masonic Lodge #652, he was a dedicated Shriner and provided transportation and assistance to any child and family needing the Shriners Hospital services.
Mr. Atkins was an outdoorsman and an avid hunter who especially enjoyed hunting quail, coon and deer. He was known and loved by many in Hamburg and the surrounding towns as a very friendly and cheerful man who was blessed with a happy attitude and the gift of gab. He was a good, sweet man who truly believed in building up others. He saw the best in every person and every situation. He was the one who made everyone feel like somebody. He will be remembered for his love of telling stories and jokes, his sense of humor and his positive outlook on life, no matter the current circumstances. He will be truly missed by everyone who knew him.
He was preceded in death by his beloved wife of 55 years, Jettie Mae Atkins in 2003; “his boy”, a son, Sterling “Bubba” Atkins, Jr. in 2009; a grandson, Neal Faulk; his parents, William Clark and Annie Lou Carpenter Atkins; two brothers, W.C. “Buddy” Atkins and James Roy “Jimmy” Atkins and three sisters, Delle Grantham, Inez Watkins and Mary Essie Bawcom.
He is survived by two daughters, Karen Kelley and husband, James, of McGehee and Lake Village and J. Gail Faulk of Hamburg. Known as ‘Granddaddy” and “Big Granddaddy” to his five grandchildren, Krista Fortenberry and husband, Carlton “Stoney”, Layton Kelley and wife, Gina, Meghan Gulledge, Anna Faulk and Lindsey Atkins. He will greatly missed by his 11 great-grandchildren, Kelley, Drew, Tyce, Caroline, Maggie, Gavin, Lola, Bronx, Emma, Olivia and Bentlee and a host of nieces and nephews.
Funeral services are 3 p.m., Thursday, December 28, 2017, at the Hamburg First United Methodist Church with Rev. Greg Comer officiating. Burial will be in Pinewood Memorial Park.
Pallbearers are James Kelley, Layton Kelley, Gavin Kelley, Drew Kelley, Tyce Gulledge and Stoney Fortenberry. Honorary pallbearers are the former electricians of the Georgia-Pacific Corporation.
Because of Mr. Atkins’ love for all children, memorials may be made to the Hamburg First United Methodist Church Children’s Department, 202 S. Main Street, Hamburg, AR 71646 or to the Sahara Shriners, Hospital Transportation Fund, PO Box 6226, Pine Bluff, AR 71611.
Visitation will be 2-3 p.m., Thursday at the church.