ST. MARYS — Gilbert L. "Pete" Atkinson, 83, formerly of 12289 State Route 219, Wapakoneta, and a resident of Otterbein St. Marys Senior Lifestyle Community, died 8:25 p.m. Sunday, Dec. 8, 2013, at Otterbein St. Marys.
He was born March 31, 1930, in Potomac, W.Va., the only child of Gilbert and Hallie (Young) Atkinson Sr.
He married Patricia Pickering on Oct. 12, 1957, in Troy, and she survives at Otterbein St. Marys.
He is survived by his children, Greg (Bonnie) Atkinson, of Wapakoneta, Tim (Carol) Atkinson, of Delaware, Andrea Fullenkamp, of New Knoxville, and Jennifer (Daniel) Tucker, of Wapakoneta. He is survived by seven grandchildren, Jarin Fullenkamp, Natasha (Joel) Keiffer, Walter Tucker, Jalen Fullenkamp, Heather Atkinson, Clayton Atkinson and Joah Fullenkamp; and two great-grandchildren, August and Lennix Kieffer.
Pete was a 1948 graduate of West Liberty High School. When he attended West Virginia University, he was in ROTC. After graduation he served as an officer in the United States Air Force during the Korean Conflict.
He graduated from West Virginia University in 1952 with a Bachelor of Science Degree in Animal Science and earned a Master's Degree in Rural Sociology from the Ohio State University in 1959.
He began his career with the Ohio State University as the 4-H Agent in Miami County at Troy in 1954. He was instrumental in establishing "Indian Hills 4-H Camp" in Miami County. He became Area 4-H agent in 1963. After 10 years, in 1974, Atkinson was appointed to Wapakoneta Area Supervisor for eight counties in southwestern Ohio, where he worked as Associate Professor for the Ohio State University. After 30 years with the Ohio State University, he retired as Professor Emeritus.
Mr. Atkinson was an active member of the Salem United Methodist Church in Wapakoneta. He was a member of the choir, taught Sunday School Class and served on numerous committees and boards.
He was a 50 year member of the Masonic Lodge No. 21, in West Liberty, Ohio, West Virginia and the York Rite Lodge in Troy.
Mr. Atkinson served a two year term as secretary for the National Association of 4-H Agents. He received the Distinguished Service Award during this term.
He was an active member of the National Association of Federal Employees (NARFE) and helped organize the local Auglaize/Mercer Chapter. He served three years as president of the local chapter and seven years as secretary of the Ohio State Federation.
Mr. Atkinson served two years as president of the Auglaize Chapter of Public Employees Retirement Inc. He also helped organize the local chapter of AARP and served as its first President.
He was a member of Kiwanis International and served as lieutenant governor.
Atkinson was a member of both The Ohio State University Alumni Association and West Virginia University Alumni Association. He was also a member of The Ohio State University Extension Association and Honorary Alpha Zeta and Epsilon Sigma Phi.
Private family funeral rites will be held at the Miller-Long and Folk Funeral Home, 314 W. High St., St. Marys. Burial will follow at Miami Memorial Park Cemetery, Covington.
A public memorial service will be held at a later date.
Memorial gifts may be given to either Salem United Methodist Church, Wapakoneta, Ohio, or to Otterbein St. Marys Lifestyle Community in St. Marys, or to the Heifer International Organization in care of Miller-Long and Folk Funeral Home, 314 W. High St., St. Marys, OH 45885.
Condolences may be sent to Pete's family via Millerfuneralhomes.net.