He was born July 8, 1937, in Clay County the son of Orville K. Atkinson and Emma Mildred Archer Atkinson.
He graduated from Van Buren High School, class of 1955. On Nov. 1, 1958, he married Sandra Wedel Atkinson and together they raised three children, Rebecca, Lesa and John.
Oct. 12, 1955, Colonel Atkinson joined the U.S. Army and for two years, served in Germany. Immediately following his active duty service, he joined the Indiana Army National Guard in Brazil. Col. Atkinson worked his way through the enlisted and officer ranks to his current grade.
He served in a variety of military positions and has received many distinguished and prestigious awards including; the Indiana Distinguished Service Medal, Indiana Commendation Medal, Indiana Volunteer Service Emblem, Army Meritorious Service Medal, Army Commendation Medal, Army Achievement Medal and National Defense Service Ribbon.
He also was awarded the "Sagamore of the Wabash Valley Award" in 1993, by then Gov. Evan Bayh.
During his military career, he served many capacities including Squad Leader, Platoon Sergeant, Battalion Operations and Training Officer, State Organizational Maintenance Officer, Director of Civil Affairs for Military Department of Indiana, Director of Resource Management IN STARC, and Director of Surface Maintenance, INARNG. He was very proud to have served two years as Chief of the Distinguished Military Department of Indiana Ceremonial Unit.
Colonel Atkinson was a graduate of the U.S. Army Command and General Staff College, and has an Associate of Arts Degree in Business Management and a Bachelors Degree in Business Administration from Northwood University, Midland, Mich.
Upon retirement from the military in 1993 as a Full Bird Colonel, he was employed by the city of Brazil as a planning administrator from 1994-95.
It was then that Florida sounded like the place to be away from Indiana winters.
He always enjoyed coming home to Brazil to see family and friends.
Jack and Sandy have been members of the First Christian Church since 1962.
Jack never knew a stranger and enjoyed talking to friends and kept in contact with many men he had served with over the years.
He enjoyed watching over the park from his porch, enjoyed music, and he was a wonderful and loving pappa.
Survivors include his wife Sandra; children, Rebecca Maurer (Matthew), Lesa Cheney (Mike Moran) all of Brazil, John Atkinson (Charlene Gillette) of Cape Coral Fla.; seven grandchildren, Jennifer Hardey (Brad), Shelbi Blunt (Reynold), Sarah Maurer, Jesica Maurer, Justin Haas, Sadie Haas and Donald Cheney II; nine great-grandchildren; two brothers, Steve Atkinson (Cheryl), and Frank Atkinson (Vicki) all of Brazil, and one sister-in-law, Martha Atkinson of Ft. Myers, Fla.; aunt Althea Atkinson Burk; many nieces and nephews and other extended family.
Jack was preceded in death by his parents; one brother William J. Atkinson; and son-in-law Donald Cheney.
Services will be held Wednesday at 11 a.m., at Lawson-Miller Chapel with Pastor Bob Witte officiating. Full military graveside honors will be held at Clearview Cemetery.
Visitation will be Tuesday from 4-8 p.m., and again Wednesday prior to services.
Memorial contributions may be made to the First Christian Church.
Light a candle in his memory at www.frenchfuneralhome.com.