James Byron Atkinson, Jr. – Obituary

By  | May 18, 2017 | Filed under: Obituaries, Roselawn Funeral Home

James Byron Atkinson, Jr., 95, passed away on May 12, 2017. He was born on July 24, 1921, to James Byron and Emma Eliza Shugart Atkinson in Fordyce, Arkansas and is preceded in death by his parents; his wife, Betty Jo Pisarczyk Atkinson; and his sisters, Emily Ruth Marti, Betsy Nell Howell, Sarabelle Inman and Francis Ann Rosenaur. He is survived by his children, James Byron Atkinson, III, M.D., Ph.D. (Deborah), Anne Peterson, M.S.N. (Michael) and Scott Edmund Atkinson D.M.D. and five grandchildren, (James Byron Atkinson IV (Leslie), Elizabeth Janette Atkinson (Jon), Scott Edmund Atkinson, Jr., William Peterson and Brook Atkinson).

J.B. was first lieutenant and served as a platoon commander assigned to the 6th Engineer Specialist Brigade during World War II in the European theater, 1942-1946, and landed on Omaha Beach in Normandy, June 7, 1944. He received citation medals for the American Campaign, European-African-Middle Eastern Campaign, Army of Occupation, French Jubilee of Victory offered by the Council of Lower Normandy and the Croix de Guerre (France). He was awarded the Bronze Star Medal for bravery in saving his platoon during the siege in Antwerp Belgium, December 1944.

After World War II, J.B. attended Paris University, Arkansas A&M and Colorado State University and received degrees in Entomology and Biology. He worked for Allied Chemical/Honeywell for 24 years, serving as Manager of Agriculture Chemicals sales. He then earned a degree in Physical Science at Athens State University and taught for 13 years at Austin High School. His retirement was spent gardening, fishing, flying, traveling Europe with his wife, Betty Jo, and they were in Russia in 1991 when the Soviet Union dissolved.

J.B. was a member of the First United Methodist Church, American Legion, Veterans of Foreign Wars, Decatur Board of Zoning Adjustment, Decatur Juvenile Conference Committee, Colorado State Alumni and Athens State Alumni.

The funeral will be held on Saturday, May 20, 2017. Visitation will be at 10 a.m. at Roselawn Funeral Home & Cemetery, followed by a service at 11 a.m. with Revered J. Charles Boling officiating and interment in Decatur City Cemetery. Dr. James B. Atkinson, III, Dr. Scott E. Atkinson, Michael Peterson, James B. Atkinson, IV, Scott E. Atkinson, Jr. and William Peterson will serve as pallbearers.The family expresses their appreciation to Mr. Atkinson’s faithful neighbors, David and Rhonda Truitt, for their unwavering, caring support. In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions may be made to First United Methodist Church, Decatur.

Roselawn Funeral Home is assisting the family.

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