Athol Jesse Atkins, 83, of Midland, passed away Saturday Jan. 18, 2014, at his home. HeÂ was born to T.B. and Era AtkinsÂ in Potter, Texas, onÂ March 1, 1930. The Atkins family later moved to Big Spring, Texas, where the family established themselves in the community. Jess earned a B.A. from Baylor University and an M.A. from North Texas State University and laterÂ attendedÂ the New Orleans Baptist Theological Seminary. Following his studies, JessÂ returned to Big Spring where he owned and operated WesTex printing, formerly owned by his family. He later met and married Agnes Schroeder and welcomed a daughter, Christina in 1975.
In his free time, Jess dedicated himself toÂ continuing his divinity studies and was aÂ very active member of First Baptist ChurchÂ in Midland, Texas. Jess cherished his church friends at First Baptist as well as West Kentucky Baptist and spent significant time serving in variousÂ roles at the two churches including the First Baptist Brotherhood Fellowship, theÂ singles ministry and choir. Most recently he utilized his background as an ordained minister to bring prison inmates closer to God as part of the prison ministry outreach. Jess was happiest when he wasÂ ministering to othersÂ or skiing and thankfullyÂ First Baptist afforded him the opportunity to do both.Â He was an avid reader who wasÂ known as a walking history book - havingÂ the ability to describeÂ historical and especially biblical stories with great detail evenÂ until the time he went to be with the Lord. Jess was also a very talented handyman who wasÂ always fixingÂ houses and cars to the delight of family members. When he wasn'tÂ working, ministering, skiing, or tinkering, he enjoyed watching Baylor football games,Â traveling internationally and eating ice cream.Â Â
Jess was preceded in death by his parents; brother, Dwayne Atkins; sister-in-law, Priscilla Atkins; andÂ brother-in-law, Al Scott. He is survived byÂ his daughter, Christina; sister, Arlys Scott; as well as several nephews, nieces, great nephews and great nieces.
The family will receive friends on Monday, Jan. 27, 2014, from 5 p.m. to 7 p.m. at Nalley-Pickle & Welch Funeral Home in Midland, Texas. Funeral services will be on Tuesday, Jan. 28, 2014, at 10 a.m. at the West Kentucky Baptist Church in Midland, Texas,Â with Brother Bob Porterfield officiating. Graveside services will follow at 1 p.m. at Trinity Memorial Park in Big Spring, Texas.
If so desired, donations in Jess' memory can be made to the Salvation Army or a charity of your choice.
Arrangements are under the direction of Nalley-Pickle & Welch Funeral Home & Crematory of Midland. Online condolences can be made at: www.npwelch.com