GASTONIA - Benjamin Emmett Atkins Jr., one of the remaining members of the Gastonia Gazette "family" died June 17, 2014, at Brookdale Place (aka Gaston Manor). He was 83.
Ben was born Sept. 7, 1930, son of the late Benjamin Emmett, Sr. and Estelle Garland Atkins. He attended local schools, with the exception of one year, when the family moved to New York City, where Ben's father worked for the Office of War Information with the late Walter Cronkite and CBS announcer Elmer Davis.
Ben graduated from Gastonia High School, where he was a member of "Who's Who". He attended The University of North Carolina until he volunteered for military service in the US Air Force, and was stationed in Germany for three years during the Korean War
. He completed his education when he re-turned from service, and began work at the family-owned Gazette in the advertising department. He served on the Gazette's Board of Directors until his retirement in the mid-sixties.
Ben was active in local Boy Scout troop 11, receiving his Eagle Scout award, and serving as a scout counselor at the "old" Piedmont Boy Scout camp, located outside Tryon, NC. Ben was the second recipient of the "John W. Thomas Award" as the outstanding Scout in the Piedmont Council.
Ben was a lifelong member of First United Methodist Church. He is survived by his brother, Garland and wife Donna Atkins, several
nephews, nieces, and cousins.
The family would like to thank Hospice and the staff of Brookdale Place for their enduring kindness to Ben.
A service to celebrate Ben's life will be held 2 p.m. Sunday in the chapel of First United Methodist Church with the Rev. David Christy, the Rev. John Stanley, and the Rev. Dr. Jim Westmoreland officiating.
A visitation will follow in the Hospitality Room at the church.
A private service of committal will be held for the family at Oakwood Cemetery.
In lieu of flowers, memorials may be sent to the Gaston Humane Society, PO Box 2334, Gastonia, NC 28053, www.gastonhumane.org
, or to The National Boy Scouts of America Foundation, 1325 W. Walnut Hill Lane, Irving, Texas 75015-2079, www.bsafoundation.org.
Condolence messages may be sent to the family online at ww.McLeanFuneral.com.
McLean Funeral Directors of Gastonia is serving the family of Mr. Atkins.