William James Atkins (a.k.a. Jim, Dad, Grandpa, Papa and CB handle Horsefly), 78, of Cabool, passed away on Tuesday, July 21, 2020, at Cox South Hospital in Springfield. William was born in Amarillo, Texas, on April 23, 1942, to William and Elva Atkins. He was the older of two boys. In 1951, the family moved to Cabool, where he graduated from high school in 1960.
On June 18, 1960, he married the love of his life and high school sweetheart, Judith Lea Delaney. They celebrated 60 years together this past June. Dad was a romantic at heart, sending Mom cards and roses and calling her every day when out on the long haul. Dad had a work ethic like no other; he worked faithfully for many years at many different jobs to care for and support his family. He was a true entrepreneur. He encouraged his kids to work for what they wanted and strive to reach their goals, always leading by example. Some of his many jobs included trash truck driver, smelter plant, a mechanic for UPS and Sears, and he finally opened his own body shop. He also founded Texas County Implement. In later years, he owned his own truck and trailer and was leased to Admiral Merchants Motor Freight, where he earned many distinguished safety awards. And for many of those years, he worked the family farm; dad loved checking his cows, putting up hay and working in his garden. Dad also loved to hunt and fish, taking his family on occasional trips down the Gasconade where he’d tease about all the snakes that were sure to jump into the boat. He also loved camping with his family, especially at Sand Mountain Bible Camp in Georgia. He passed on a true sense of adventure to all of his kids, traveling and exploring the entire lower 48. He loved to spend time with his kids and grandkids and he always had a list of to do’s when his grandsons would visit. He loved to watch westerns, especially John Wayne, and there’s not a Louis L’Amour or Zane Grey book dad hasn’t read. William was preceded in death by his parents, William and Elva Atkins as well as beloved grandparents, aunts and uncles. He is survived by his wife, Judy; four children, Sara J. Postlethwait, Nina J. Law, William J. Atkins, Jr. and Melissa J. Lockcuff. He is also survived by 18 grandchildren, 13 great grandchildren and by his brother, Jerald Atkins. Private graveside services for William Atkins were held at Bado Cemetery, Texas, County, Missouri, on Saturday, July 25, 2020, at 11 a.m. with Brother Reg Kelly and Brother Jim Waymire officiating. Song selections were “In The Garden,” “I Know Who Holds Tomorrow” and “I’ll Fly Away” with Jaylene, Joelle, Josie and Jordanna Atkins serving as musicians. Derek Bohn II, Derek Bohn III, Trey Atkins, Titus Atkins, Trevor Atkins, Jacob Lockcuff, Greg Law and Jaden Lockcuff served as pallbearers. Burial was in Bado Cemetery under the direction of Craig-Hurtt Funeral Home, Mountain Grove. Memorial contributions may be made to Bado Community Church in care of the funeral home. Online condolences: www.craighurttfuneralhome.com.