James David Atkinson

By  | May 6, 2022 | Filed under: Obituaries, Spry-Williams Funeral Home

James David Atkinson, 75, of Killen, Alabama passed away on May 4, 2022.  James was preceded in death by his parents, Harvey and Willodean Atkinson and his brother, Randy Atkinson.

James is a Florence, Alabama native who graduated from Rogers High School in 1966 and drafted in the Army in November 1966.  He completed basic training at Ft. Benning, Georgia and went to AIT School at Ft. Polk, Louisiana.  James served as a Private First Class in Vietnam, earning 2 Purple Hearts and an honorable discharge for his service in February 1968.  Upon his military discharge, he returned home to Alabama to be with his family and began a career as a machinist.  James worked for the Tennessee Valley Authority, earning the title of TVA’s Maintenance Professional of the Year in 1996, until his retirement in 2000.  James was a member of the Machinist Local for 28 years. James enjoyed vehicles of all types – from motorcycles to antique vehicles – and talked many times about the Silverado that ‘got away’.  He was incredibly talented at repairing most anything and loved to create and build, being especially fond of wood-working projects.  If he wasn’t fishing, boating, or working outside, you could find James in his ‘garage’ working on a new project or mending something for a family member or a friend. James was a devout Christian and devoted member of Crossroads Baptist Church serving in most any capacity that was needed.  From helping with the building construction to showing up on special occasions to ‘pitch in’, you could always count on James.  He believed in serving others thru volunteerism and contributed to many non-profit agencies including St. Jude Children’s Hospital and the Kids to Love Foundation, and assisted with multiple projects benefiting Shoals CASA (Court Appointed Special Advocates).

After his retirement from TVA, James enjoyed taking trips with his family – particularly those that allowed him the chance to sneak in a little fishing time.  He was a prankster and enjoyed hearing and telling a good joke. More importantly, James loved his family.  He celebrated his children, grandchildren and great-grandchildren and made sure that each of them knew they were special in his eyes.  James loved his wife dearly and demonstrated his love in many ways not only to Jewel, but also to his family, friends, and neighbors.  James was a man of few words and many accomplishments.  He was a kind, humble, patient, serving, and forgiving man.  Every day, he showed unconditional love to those around him.  If you knew James, you knew without a doubt that he would give you the shirt off his back.  And that he’d do it over and over again.  The world is a better place because God shared him with us for 75 years, and although we will miss him tremendously, his love and faith will never be forgotten.

James is survived by his loving wife, Jewel D. Atkinson; Children: Andrea Holt, Dana Kelley (Andy), April Mitchell (Bill), Billy Walton, Donna Horton (Jerry), Jason Walton (Shae); Sisters: Shirley Scanlon and Diane Lawson (Mike); 15 Grandchildren and 7 Great-Grandchildren.

Visitation for family and friends will be Saturday, May 7, 2022, from 11:00 am to 1:00 pm at Crossroads Baptist Church and service will start at 1:00 pm with Pastors David Cofield and Tim Akers.  Burial will follow in Bluewater Cemetery, Killen, Alabama.

In lieu of flowers, memorials in his honor may be sent to:
Kids To Love Foundation, Huntsville, AL
St. Jude Children’s Hospital, Memphis, TN

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