Wednesday, December 11th, 2013
Gilbert L. "Pete" Atkinson, 83, formerly of Wapakoneta, died at 8:25 p.m. Dec. 8, 2013, at Otterbein St. Marys.
He was born March 31, 1930, in Potomac, W.Va., to Gilbert and Hallie Young Atkinson Sr.
On Oct. 12, 1957, in Troy, he married Patricia Pickering, who survives at Otterbein.
Also surviving are his children, Greg (Bonnie) Atkinson, Wapakoneta, Tim (Carol) Atkinson, Delaware, Andrea Fullenkamp, New Knoxville, and Jennifer (Daniel) Tucker, Wapakoneta; seven grandchildren, Jarin Fullenkamp, Natasha (Joel) Kieffer, Walter Tucker, Jalen Fullenkamp, Heather Atkinson, Clayton Atkinson and Joah Fullenkamp; and two great-grandchildren, August and Lennix Kieffer.
He was a 1948 graduate of West Liberty High School. When he attended West Virginia University, he was in ROTC. After graduation he served as an officer in the U.S. Air Force during the Korean Conflict.
He graduated from West Virginia University in 1952 with a bachelor's degree in animal science and earned a master's degree in rural sociology from The Ohio State University in 1959. He began his career with OSU as the 4-H agent of Miami County in Troy in 1954. He was instrumental in establishing "Indian Hills 4-H Camp" in Miami County. He became the area 4-H agent in 1963. In 1974, he was appointed as Wapakoneta area supervisor for eight counties in southwestern Ohio, while working as associate professor for OSU. After 30 years with OSU, he retired as professor emeritus.
He was an active member of the Salem United Methodist Church in Wapakoneta. He was a member of the choir, taught Sunday school class and served on numerous committees and boards. He was a 50-year member of Masonic Lodge #21 in West Liberty, W.Va., and the York Rite Lodge in Troy.
He served a two-year term as secretary for the National Association of 4-H Agents. He received the Distinguished Service Award during this term.
He was an active member of the National Association of Federal Employees and helped organize the local Auglaize/Mercer Chapter. He served three years as president of the local chapter and seven years as secretary of the Ohio State Federation.
He served two years as president of the Auglaize Chapter of Public Employees Retirement, Inc. He also helped organize the local chapter of AARP and served as its first president.
He was a member of Kiwanis International and served as lieutenant governor.
He was a member of both the OSU Alumni Association and West Virginia University Alumni Association. He was also a member of the OSU Extension Association and honorary Alpha Zeta and Epsilon Sigma Phi.
Private family funeral rites will be held at the Miller-Long and Folk Funeral Home, St. Marys. Burial will follow at Miami Memorial Park Cemetery, Covington. A public memorial service will be held at a later date.
Memorial gifts may be given to Salem United Methodist Church, Wapakoneta, to Otterbein St. Marys or to the Heifer International Organization in care of Miller-Long and Folk Funeral Home.
Condolences may be sent to www.Millerfuneralhomes.net.