Edward Wilkes Atkinson, Jr. | Obituary

Ed Atkinson passed away at the age of 74 on September 18, with the comfort of his family by his side. Born in Columbia, SC on January 14, 1947, Ed was the son of the late Edward Wilkes Atkinson and Tommie Jeter Atkinson. In 1965, he graduated from South Mecklenburg High School in Charlotte, North Carolina, where he excelled in athletics. He was an outstanding quarterback and first baseman on college teams. Ed continued to play football at Wake Forest University on a scholarship, first as a quarterback on the freshman team, but then moved to defensive back on the varsity team. He suffered a career-ending knee injury and graduated from Campbell University in 1969 with a Bachelor of Science degree. Throughout his life Ed loved sports, both playing and watching. Ed married Sally Ann Whitehurst of Bethel in 1969. Their wonderful journey began in Wake Forest where, shortly after the first date, the deacon football player and cheerleader entered into a lifelong relationship filled with love. ‘love. Ed was a proud member of the Kappa Alpha Order fraternity and had many fond memories of spending time with his brothers over the years. Ed has had a long and successful career as a representative of a sporting goods manufacturer. With her outgoing personality and love for people, sales were truly her calling. Her clients have become lifelong friends. He was proud to be the NC and SC representative for New Balance Athletic Shoe Company. He has received numerous performance-based awards including the biggest sales increase in 1999 and Seller of the Year in 2000. Trips to France, Germany and the Barcelona Olympics were among his fondest memories. precious. Ed retired in 2018. Retirement has allowed him to spend more time enjoying his many loves. He became a member of the Greenville Country Club shortly after moving to Greenville in 1979 and then served on the committee of the member-guest tournament. He also had the distinction of not one but three, hole-in-one on the course. He was a member of the First Presbyterian Church. He continued to be a strong supporter of Wake Forest athletics and enjoyed attending football games. He especially enjoyed spending time at his home in Atlantic Beach and spent many weekends there with his family and friends. He loved his family, friends so much and cherished all the wonderful times and memories that made his life so special. Ed is survived by his beloved wife of 52 years, Sally Ann; son, Zeb Wilkes Atkinson and wife, Stephanie of Tupelo, MS; grandchildren, Gavin Wilkes and Whitney Ann; brother-in-law, Vance Bunting Taylor and wife, Sue; two nieces and cousins. A service and celebration of life will be scheduled at a later date. In lieu of flowers, donations may be made in his memory to First Presbyterian Church, 1400 South Elm St., Greenville, NC 27858, or Wake Forest Deacon Club Athletic Department 499 Deacon, Blvd., Winston-Salem, NC 27105. The arrangements are through the Farmville Funeral Home. Online condolences can be presented at www.farmvillefh.com.

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