Wednesday, December 11, 2013

Jack P. Atkinson, Jr., Obituary

Mr. Jack Porter Atkinson, Jr., 67, of Garfield died peacefully in his sleep Monday, April 22, 2013 at the University Hospital in Augusta following a several week illness. Mr. Atkinson was born in Panama City, Florida on October 22, 1945 to Jack Porter Atkinson, Sr. and Meryl Hill Atkinson. He spent his early years in his father’s hometown, Garfield, Georgia, and later in Twin City, Georgia where he graduated from Emanuel County Institute in 1963. He attended and graduated from Emory University’s Oxford College in 1965 and Emory College in Atlanta in 1967 with degrees in Sociology and Anthropology. He was a member of the Pi Kappa Alpha social fraternity, where he served as rush chairman. He joined the United States Peace Corps following graduation and after training was sent to Nairobi, Kenya, where he lived and worked for two years, 1967-1969, with the Ministry of Agriculture helping administer the national 4-K program. He married Jane Howard Martin of Springfield Tennessee in 1970. To them were born two sons, Jack Porter Atkinson, III and John Martin Atkinson. After his return from Africa, he worked with the Southern Regional Office of the Peace Corps recruiting Volunteers on college campuses, and also served as the Director of Training and Development for the Appalachian Child Care Project. He returned to Emory in 1970, received a Masters of Divinity degree from the Candler School of Theology in 1972, and became an ordained minister in the North Georgia Conference of the United Methodist Church. He was Associate Pastor and Youth Director for the Covington First United Methodist Church in Covington GA from 1972 until 1975, when he was hired by his alma mater, Oxford College of Emory University, as Registrar and Instructor in the social sciences for ten years. From 1985 to 1987 he was Director of Development at Oxford College and in 1987 he became the Executive Director of the Association of Emory Alumni in Atlanta. He initiated the Emory Alumni Assemblies during his tenure and served in this position until 1995. As part of the Emory alumni travel program, he and his family were able to travel to many countries including Russia, the Canary Islands, the Mediterranean area, and a return trip to Kenya, Africa. Jack was active in the Georgia Trust for Historic Preservation for many years, serving on the Board of Directors and as Rambles Chairman. He was Chairman of the National Register Review Board for the Ga. Dept. of Natural Resources, active in the Oxford Historical Shrine Society, and a member of the Oxford Historic Cemetery Foundation. He served for several years on the Town Council and as the Mayor of Oxford, Georgia. He and his wife Jane purchased and restored the 1837 Thomas-Stone House in Oxford in 1973 and completed a period restoration in 1995. They were the recipients of the first Georgia Trust Best Restoration Award in 1995. Their home was on many tours during their ownership and was featured in several magazines and articles. During these years Jack is remembered for his annual Christmas newsletter, which he shared with a large group of friends. In more recent years, Jack has lived in his hometown Garfield, Georgia, where he was a Counselor, taught at East Georgia State College, and was Director of the Franklin Memorial Library in Swainsboro Georgia for several years until 2007. He wrote a column in the Swainsboro weekly newspaper The Forest Blade for a number of years, entertaining readers with stories of his early life in Emanuel County and other lifetime memories. He was also active, and past president, with the Emanuel County Historic Preservation Society and served as Administrative Assistant to the president. Jack was a member of the Garfield United Methodist Church, often providing flower arrangements from his and other local yards for Sunday services. He enjoyed working with his sister at her Antique Mall in Metter, sharing their joint love of antiques and collectibles. He is survived by two sons, Jack Porter Atkinson, III, wife Lorin and their three children Jack Porter Atkinson IV, William Carmichael Atkinson, and Catherine Cherie Atkinson of Covington, GA; and John Martin Atkinson and his wife Mary and their two daughters, Jane Helen Atkinson and Virginia Brown Atkinson of Atlanta, GA. Jack is also survived by a sister, Barbara Mosses of Metter and her children Holly Mosses and Sean Mosses; a brother, Lawrence H. Atkinson and his wife Patricia of Garfield and their children Lash Atkinson and Lacie Atkinson Cobb; an aunt, Eunice Hill Collatz of Panama City, Florida; several cousins and many friends. Memorial Service will be held Saturday, April 27 at 2:00 p.m. at Jack’s childhood church, Garfield Methodist Church in Garfield Georgia, with interment in the Atkinson family lot at Hebron Cemetery outside of Garfield. Those wishing to pay tribute with flowers are encouraged to do so. Memorial contributions can be made to the Garfield United Methodist Church, 105 Monroe St., Garfield, Ga. 30425 or the Emanuel County Historic Preservation Society, P. O. Box 353, Swainsboro, GA 30401. The family wishes to thank special friends who helped Jack during his most recent extended illness, including Darla Harris, Donny Benton, Kenneth H. Thomas, Jr., Terry Bird, Clark Lemons, Jane Durden, and the ICU, medical, nursing, and respiratory therapy staff at University Hospital in Augusta, Ga. Condolences may be expressed at Chapman Funeral Home of Swainsboro is in charge of the arrangements for the funeral of Mr. Jack Porter Atkinson, Jr., 67, of Garfield.

Wednesday, February 27, 2013

Columbus High School Class of 1964 Reunion

Columbus High School, Columbus, GA, where I graduated, is having its 50th Anniversary Class Reunion in May 2014- for the Class of 1964. If anyone in that class has lost touch, please contact me to get back in touch. We hope to be able to invite everyone in our class to the event. Unfortunately, out of our class of 400, we have lost about 45 that we know of. Kenneth H. Thomas, Jr. Decatur, GA

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Wedding Photos, still to come

The photos of the Blair-Tyler Wedding were taken by me on June 5, 2010, but I am having trouble posting them on this Blog, so the rest will come later on, stay tuned. I am having a hard time figuring out the dialong between Picasa and the Blog.

Blair-Tyler Wedding Photos

Posted by Picasa

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Sir James Wright, last Colonial Governor of GA

One of the research projects that I have resumed this year, has been my work with several other genealogists and historians on the ancestry, marriage, and children of Georgia's last Royal Governor, Sir James Wright (1716-1785).

Although I had researched the genealogy of most of Georgia's governors, I had not gotten into the colonial ones. I first got into the Wright story in 2003 and again in 2005 with my friend and fraternity brother, James F. Cook, Ph.D., who wrote the book The Governors of Georgia. The question was, how many children did Gov. Wright have.

In 2007 this came up again, this time with Mary Bondurant Warren of Athens asking the questions due to her series of books on the Governor and Council Journals of Colonial Georgia that she is now about to finish up the volume for 1781. We added Pat Kruger of Charleston SC into the mix for her help on the SC records, where Wright spent his "formative years," as his father was Chief Justice there and Wright married there in 1742. Most recently we have added Greg Brooking, an historian who is working on his Ph.D and plans to write his dissertation on Gov. Wright, which we hope will eventually become a book, long overdue.

One of the issues is Gov. Wright's burial spot in Westminster Abbey in London. It is apparently now (2010) covered up by a temporary snack area or so we have been told.

We have explored the connections of Wright's wife, Sarah Maidman, and her death in 1764 when the ship she was on from Savannah to England sank, with all lost. We have continued to explore the issue of the number, names and history of their children.

With the Internet we have been able to research and prove a lot about them without ever leaving home, at least I have. It is quite amazing what is out there to be found online. You can even purchase and have it downloaded online actual documents from the British National Archives at Kew (formerly called the PRO). We have even been able to get Gov. Wright's will via that process.

So if anyone out there has any real information on Wright's family, or is related--we know there are descendants in South Carolina of Gov. Wright's---get in touch, preferably directly by e-mail above, as I don't often check things on this blog, see previous post.

Blog Revival 2010

Friends of my poor neglected blog. I know they say there are many blogs out there that have just gone dry and mine is one of them. As the New Year is in full swing now, and I have gotten through the end of 2009- my birthday, the holidays on either side of it, and New Year's, surely I can do better this year, and also probably actually put some genealogy tips on this blog, hence it's name.

I began the year with my annual trip to Sapelo Island in January with the Coastal Study Group, our 22nd visit I think it was this year. I am now having repairs done to my garage due to the Sept 2009 rains in Atlanta area, flood damage when I don't live near water- figure that one out.

There were several things from 2009 that I intended to comment on, and one was the anniversary in August of Hurricane Camille on the Mississippi Gulf Coast in which I participated as a member of the U. S. Air Force stationed there. But alas, I just never got around to my comments.

Hope to better in this new year. My Facebook page is equally neglected. KEN

Monday, July 20, 2009


July 20, 2009
Today was a day of memories, with all the talk of the 40th anniversary of the landing of the first men on the moon. Tonight I was able to watch a special on the History Channel, as well as something earlier on CNN with an interview with Buzz Aldrin as he looked at the Google Moon site (who knew there was such? ).

I don't recall my exact feelings, but I was always amazed at our space program and tonight in watching actual footage of the space craft, its amazing they could do that back then and wonder why we can't do so much more now, given all we know how to do. So its even more amazing what was accomplished in 1969.

On July 20, 1969 I was stationed in the U. S. Air Force in Biloxi, Mississippi and had been there since late May I think, and stayed til October, later than planned.

Several friends I had known prior to going in the Air Force were also at Biloxi- Keesler Air Force Base was the name of the base, that summer, besides the guys I met that summer. One of those pre-Air Force friends was Ed King, a PIKA fraternity brother of mine from our four years at Emory University, Atlanta, GA. Ed was in medical school and later became a Medical Doctor and was there for training. He had taken ROTC at Emory and was thus an officer and I enlisted, and because of that we weren't supposed to hang out together, but one of the memorable things we did was go to the enlisted barracks (not sure where) and watch the moon landing together.

Today in watching the retrospectives, it seems they landed on the moon around 3:17 Central Daylight Time- think it was on a Sunday? but they took their time getting off the ship and so the actual moon walking wasn't til around 10 p. m. CDT, since we were in Mississippi. Guess my letters home (which I have) might be a better way to recall my exact feelings that day.

But sadly, Ed King, MD, is not with us today to recall that summer. He died in Israel a few years ago while visiting there with his wife, Barbara, on a church sponsored trip. He had been a doctor in the Federal Prison system I think it was. But had graduated from Emory's Medical School.

The other big event of the summer of 1969 at Biloxi was Hurricane Camille which hit only a few weeks later, causing much damage on the Mississippi coast, and delaying our training for weeks, as I took my first computer course that summer. After all the excitement of a summer in Mississippi, what exciting place did the Air Force send me to? Montgomery, Alabama. More on that in another blog.

My Next Air Force assignment, after Montgomery, was a good one- ENGLAND.