Obituary of Jean Atkinson
On March 1st, God sent an angel to the Wesley Heath Care Center and took Jean home so that she could live with God for all eternity. She was only 77 but her long battle with Alzheimer’s was over. She was born in Salem, Mass., the only child of Elenore and Earl Stebbins. She leaves behind her husband of 56 years, Bob; two children, David (Karen) Atkinson of Clifton Park and Nancy (Jeff) Hogan also of Clifton Park. She had six grandchildren whom she adored: Loryn, Brandon, Meghan and Molly Atkinson and Ben and Anna Hogan and two great grandsons, Daymien and Killian Bullard.
She was a very active 50-year member of the Shenendehowa United Methodist Church in Clifton Park and a member of the Shenendehowa United Methodist Women. As a member of the chancel choir for many years, she struggled with her 2nd soprano notes, but she persevered. Her smile lit up the room. While at Shenendehowa, she organized a knitting group, which is still active, to knit prayer shawls for people facing health issues or a loss. They also made baby blankets, lap robes for veterans in the V.A. Hospital, and hats and mittens for children and the homeless. With the help of a friend, Rev. Ginny Deyo, she organized a quilting group, also still active, who made quilts for newly baptized babies and for children facing hard times. Over the years of quilting, she especially loved those times when all her grandchildren sat with her, one on one, to make quilts with “Mimi”.
A driving force in her life was her great love of children. As a senior in high school, she volunteered at the local children’s hospital. After she and her family stopped relocating around the US, thanks to GE, and settled in Clifton Park, she started babysitting in her house for teacher’s children and the children of other friends so she could make sure that the children were safe and loved while their parents worked. For ten years she and Bob volunteered a week of their time to serve as Counselors in the United Methodist Conference Skye Farm Camp in Warrensburg. Her love for children became quickly absorbed by the kids and they knew that they were safe and loved while in her care. And many tears were shed when they left to go home.
Eventually she realized her dream job when she became an assistant teacher at the Shenendehowa United Methodist Pre-school. It was heaven on earth for her. A chance to help young children learn their ABC’s and a love of God and all His creatures. She relished helping the kids with their projects even if it meant she and Bob had to work on them at home. Anything for the kids. During holidays, when she dressed up in various costumes, she did so with a huge smile. When she left that job and became the school greeter, every child was met with a smile and a hug. They all loved “Miss Jean” or “Gramma Jean”.
So, as we her family and her many friends will miss her smile, we will all remember her with love for who she was and thank God for letting us be a part of her life. And as one of God’s special angels, she will look down on us and smile.
The family would like to thank the Wesley Health Care Center and Hospice staff for the wonderful, loving care they provided to Jean while in their care.
A memorial service to celebrate her life will be held at the Shenendehowa United Methodist Church on March 11 at 11:00.
The family requests that if friends wanted to honor Jean, that they consider contributing to the SUMC music program or the Albany Chapter of the Alzheimer’s Association.
Please feel free to express your condolences online by visiting gordoncemerickfuneralhome.com
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