Home Records Obituaries Jerry W. Atkinson

Jerry W. Atkinson

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Born June 19, 1945, in Roswell to Ennis and Lois Jenkins Atkinson. Jerry lived his early childhood years on his parents’ Basin Ranch, east of the Bottomless Lakes. He attended LFD grade school, East Junior High and graduated from Roswell High in 1963. He married Sharon Reynolds the same year. Together they have three children, Kathryn Atkinson Dalmut (Greenwood, Arkansas), Kerry Atkinson (La Mesa, New Mexico), and Megan Atkinson (Olympia, Washington).

While on the ranch, Jerry would make elaborate roads in the dirt, including bridges and tunnels. His mother thought he would become a civil engineer until he told her he was building those for his trucks. He lived out that early passion. He went to work for Glover Packing Company in 1964 as a driver. Moved to Albuquerque in 1966, bought his first truck and started Atkinson Transportation which grew into the largest independently owned LTL refrigeration carrier in New Mexico at its time. He sold his company, and moved to Arkansas in 1982 and was a long-haul truck driver until the year before his death with an exemplary driving safety record.

Like his father, his other passion was ranching. He bought a farm outside of Hartford, Arkansas where he raised cattle, sheep and whatever else Sharon would bring home. He was heavily involved in the National Woolgrowers Association and was honored when his family was named Sebastian County Farm Family of the year. He died at his home of 38 years on December 14, 2019, from heart failure.

In addition to his wife of 56 years, Sharon, and his three children, he is survived by grandchildren Amanda Rivera (Hobbs ,NM), Ryan Atkinson (Las Mesa, NM), Kristin and Ray Atkinson (Olympia, WA), great grandchild Maddox Rivera, brother Dan Atkinson (Roswell), sister Margaret Atkinson Marsh (San Francisco CA), step sisters Pashella Forte (Santa Fe) and Jana Reynolds (St. Louis, MO). Preceding him in death are his father, mother, and his stepmother Rita Pearson Atkinson. Per Jerry’s request, he will be buried on his ranch in Arkansas next to an old church. A Memorial Service will be held in the Spring when the wildflowers bloom.

Condolences to his family can be sent to 4319 Frazier Road, Hartford, Arkansas 72938-9037 or Online at www.smithmortuaryinc.com.

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