Celebration of a life well lived of Mr. Ike Atkins were held on Saturday, Feb. 27, 2016 at 1 p.m. from Rock West Baptist Church with Rev. Ben Davis officiating. Burial followed in Zion Rest AME Zion Churchyard cemetery. Hudson Funeral Services of Greenville, Ala., directed.
In1909, the same year the NAACP was established by blacks up north, Mr. Lewis “Toad” Atkins and Ethel Simpson Atkins welcomed their sixth child, Ike Atkins. Ike, also known as Bo, would grow up to be one of the sharpest catfish skinning, mule-driving, pocket knife toting, snuff dipping men the
dirt roads of Butler County would come to know. Following his birth, Ike’s parents would continue to expand their family to include four additional children. In total, his parents had five boys: Doc, R.C., Lou Will, Atmark, and Jerome “Skut”; and four girls: Lucille, Beatrice, Jennie Lee and Ocelean
– all would precede him in death.
During the 106 years that Ike lived, he would experience and see many things that people would only read about in history books—things such as racial segregation, the civil rights movement, and many sweat-filled hours of picking cotton from sunrise to sunset. Nevertheless, none of these things would break Ike’s spirit, harden his heart, or affect the love he had for people.
Throughout his life, Ike remained a hardworking, God-fearing man. Around the youthful age of 34, Ike met his wife – a sassy, classy dressing, sharp tongued, slender, brown-skinned woman by the name of Leola Palmer. She was beautiful in his sight and he adored her. Ike was a loving husband,
father, and caregiver – they enjoyed each morning with a cup of coffee and scrambled eggs. They also enjoyed going to church together, gardening, fishing and sitting on their porch. In the evening, they would end their day by watching their favorites TV shows – The Golden Girls, the evening
news, and the Johnny Carson Show until her death separated them.
Ike was blessed to become the father to Leola’s five children: Jimmie Mae Johnson, Fannie Mae McCastle, Roosevelt Palmer, Loula Mae Nettles, and Lou Emma Stewart. His blessings continued. Ike helped to raise a village; three generations of grandchildren, great-grandchildren and great-great grandchildren.
If you knew Ike, then you knew he was a man that never left the house without his hat and “spendas.” In addition, Ike loved taking care of his hogs, taking rides with his friends, and “tasting” some of the finest liquors around. When he gave you a nickname you answered rather it was Hog, Goat, Rooster, Snake, Momma, Bug, Pearly, Gal, Cow and even Ugly.
In the latter part of his life, Ike enjoyed taking many road trips with his family including Ohio, Texas, and his last trip this past Christmas to Disney World.
Ike Atkins left his family and friends with many fond and unforgettable memories. We know he would back this statement with one of his famous quotes, “You mighty right!” Ike Atkins had a life well-lived.