Published 8:46 pm Thursday, January 19, 2023
RICHMOND – Billy Atkinson, 74, of Richmond, Virginia, passed away Friday, Jan. 13, 2023. He was born Nov. 16, 1948, the eldest son of the late Smiley and Rachel Atkinson of Franklin.
Survivors include his wife of 49 years, Rev. Susie Atkinson; two chi
ldren, Tracy (Julie) Atkinson of Richmond and Angie Atkinson of Los Angeles, California; two grandchildren, Preston and Vaughn Atkinson of Richmond; two sisters and a brother, Cookie (Wilson) Drake of Franklin, Patsy Bridges of Franklin, Mike (Allene) Atkinson of Franklin; nine nieces and nephews; many great-nieces and nephews, cousins and other relatives; a multitude of friends and his family in the fellowship of Christ through the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.) with which he was active for 49 years and served over 40 years as an elder.
He was preceded in death by his parents; a brother-in-law, Glenn Bridges; cousins Sonny and Ed Sansbury; a nephew, Roger Drake; and his first wife, Pat.
Billy was born in Dillon, South Carolina, and grew up in the Carolinas before his family settled in Franklin in 1961. He learned many trades, owned his own contracting business and worked in sales and management in industrial wood products, from which he retired after 34 years. He loved to sing, both alone and for a crowd and in retirement, he worked as a professional entertainer singing in the Richmond area. Billy was immensely proud of his family and their accomplishments and would tell everyone he met about them. He had a lifelong passion for golf and won multiple amateur championships. He loved college football and sports in general. With his wife Susie, married Sept. 19, 1973, he raised a loving family and devoted his life to serving others. Their marriage and work took Billy to Muncie, Indiana; Starkville, Mississippi; Richmond, Virginia; Gladys, Virginia; Havre de Grace, Maryland; and Crozet, Virginia. A kind and lively man, Billy was outgoing and loved everyone and was always willing to step up and lead or lend a helping hand. To all those who have ever called on him for help or who benefitted from his support, he will be greatly missed.
A memorial service will be held at 2 p.m. on Sunday, Jan. 22 at Wright Funeral Home and Crematory in Franklin. Friends are welcome to attend. The Rev. Melissa Knight will officiate. In lieu of flowers, please make a donation to Habitat for Humanity.