Edward Wilkes Atkinson Jr.

January 14, 1947 ~ September 18, 2021 (age 74)


Greenville……………………Ed Atkinson passed away at the age of 74, on September 18, with the comfort of 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, NC where he excelled in athletics. He was an outstanding quarterback and first baseman on the varsity teams. Ed went on to play football at Wake Forest University on a scholarship, initially playing quarterback on the freshman team but later moved to defensive back on the varsity team. He suffered a career ending knee injury and went on to finish his studies at Campbell University graduating in 1969 with a Bachelor of Science Degree. Throughout his life Ed loved sports, both playing and watching.

                                                Ed married Sally Ann Whitehurst from Bethel in 1969. Their wonderful journey started at Wake Forest where soon after the first date the deacon football player and cheerleader were committed to a lifelong relationship filled with love. Ed was a proud member of the Kappa Alpha Order Fraternity and had many fond memories of spending time with his brothers throughout the years.

                                                Ed had a long and successful career as a sporting goods manufacturer’s representative. With his outgoing personality and love for people, sales were truly his calling. His customers became lifelong friends. He was proud to be the rep in NC and SC for New Balance Athletic Shoe Company. He was the recipient of many performance-based awards including Largest Sales Increase in 1999 and Salesman of the Year in 2000. Trips to France, Germany and the Barcelona Olympics were some of his most treasured memories. Ed went on to retire in 2018. Retirement allowed him to spend more time enjoying his many loves. He became a member of Greenville Country Club shortly after moving to Greenville in 1979 and went on to serve on the member-guest tournament committee. He also had the distinction of not one but three, holes in one on the course. He was a member of First Presbyterian Church. He continued to be an avid supporter of Wake Forest athletics and loved to attend football games. He had a special love for spending time at his home in Atlantic Beach and enjoyed many weekends there spending time with family and friends. He so dearly loved his family, friends and cherished all the wonderful moments 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 planned for 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.

                                                Arrangements are by Farmville Funeral Home.

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