Mrs. Willie Maude Atkinson was born to the late William and the late Maude Bates on August 20, 1919 in a settlement called Mooree Quarters, north of Lick Skillet(Oxford). This settlement later became Hobson City, Alabama.
She grew in love and admonition of God with her brothers; James, Lewis, and Wiley and her sisters: Mary Edna, Vera Beatrice, and Margaret.
Mrs. Atkinson was married to Mr. Clyde R. Atkinson, and they were the proud parents of three children. She maintained an immaculate yard and she did not have a problem telling people not to walk thru her yard, that it was not a trail.
Mrs. Atkinson was a “Daddy’s Girl” who always went to Wednesday night Bible study with her daddy. She joined New Hope Baptist Church at the age of 11. She read the Bible from Genesis to Revelations many times. She sang in the choir and was a devoted member of the Harriett Pierce Circle. She was the oldest member of New Hope Baptist Church, the oldest member of the Acquila and Priscilla Order of the Eastern Star and the oldest citizen born and raised in Hobson City. She sang in the choir and was a devoted member of the Harriett Pierce Circle.
Her favorite scripture was: ”Be not deceived; God is not mocked: for whatsoever a man soweth, that shall he also reap.” Galatians 6:7 KJV. Her favorite flower was the rose.
Mrs. Atkinson attended Calhoun County Training where she enjoyed learning and participating in school activities and sports. She played “forward” for the girls basketball team. Her father William worked with Professor Hanna to organize what would become Calhoun County Training School.
She enjoyed going to the Park in Hobson City, where they showed movies on Thursday, watched entertainers perform on a platform and enjoyed swimming on Saturday and Sunday.
One Sunday between Sunday school and church, Mrs. Atkinson and some of the other women walked to the park to pass time before church started. While watching the young men swim, Mrs. Atkinson noticed her young son, Alfonza, had swam into the deep part of the pool. This scared her; she immediately jumped into the pool in her Sunday outfit: hat, high heels, stockings and pocket book, to pull her son to safety. After this, some of the men at the pool that day; Mr. Emmitt Hanna, Mr. Moot Patton and others began to tease her saying “Willie Maude, let’s go swimming”.
She worked in the home of Catherine and Howard Bentley where she was loved, they treated each other like family and she raised their children as her own: Margie, Kathy, Bo, Johnny, Betty, Jack and Winston. Jack and Winston preceded her in death. She also worked for the Mellon Family and took care of their granddaughter Shirley.
On Monday, May 7, 2020 at 5:30 pm, she answered her Master’s call at home with her daughter and granddaughter. She slept peacefully in to God’s Kingdom with a smile on her face. Mrs. Atkinson is survived by: one daughter, Willie Shortt; one granddaughter, LaShawn Shortt; three grandsons, Daryl (Naikia), Eric (Latasha) Atkinson and Rodney Shortt; five grandchildren, Kymaya Davis, Cherra and Adderly Atkinson and Ava and Reagan Shortt; three nieces, Beverly and Linda Ball and Donna Bates Price; one nephew, Wiley (Donna) Bates, Jr; great-nieces, Juanita Battle, Ann Walker, Cheryl Ball, Katrina Burt, Mesha Parker , Shasa Ball and Jennifer Ball; great-nephews: Henry Green, Jr, Keith Burt, Dwight, Delano, Chaz and Clayton Ball, Kent Martin, Wiley III, Harold and Leon Bates, Delvan and Dorian Price; and many other relatives and friends who will cherish her memories.
Mrs. Atkinson is preceded in death by: her husband, Clyde R. Atkinson; her sons, James Marvin Turner and Dr. Alfonza Atkinson; her niece, Naomi Webb, whom she raised as her own; her siblings; and a grandson, Reginald Shortt.
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