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Athol Jesse Atkins, 83, of Midland, passed away Saturday Jan. 18, 2014, at his home. He¬†was born to T.B. and Era Atkins¬†in Potter, Texas, on¬†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 later¬†attended¬†the New Orleans Baptist Theological Seminary. Following his studies, Jess¬†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 to¬†continuing his divinity studies and was a¬†very active member of First Baptist Church¬†in Midland, Texas. Jess cherished his church friends at First Baptist as well as West Kentucky Baptist and spent significant time serving in various¬†roles at the two churches including the First Baptist Brotherhood Fellowship, the¬†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 was¬†ministering to others¬†or skiing and thankfully¬†First Baptist afforded him the opportunity to do both.¬†He was an avid reader who was¬†known as a walking history book - having¬†the ability to describe¬†historical and especially biblical stories with great detail even¬†until the time he went to be with the Lord. Jess was also a very talented handyman who was¬†always fixing¬†houses and cars to the delight of family members. When he wasn't¬†working, ministering, skiing, or tinkering, he enjoyed watching Baylor football games,¬†traveling internationally and eating ice cream.¬†¬†
Jess was preceded in death by his parents; brother, Dwayne Atkins; sister-in-law, Priscilla Atkins; and¬†brother-in-law, Al Scott. He is survived by¬†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,¬†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