Nancy Ferguson Atkins, 90, of Hixson, passed away on March 4, 2022.
Nancy was born on August 19, 1931, in Pittsburgh, Pa., and was blessed to be adopted by Sam and Margaret Ferguson of McKeesport, Pa. Nancy grew up in McKeesport/Glassport, a suburb of Pittsburgh, Pa. Nancy graduated from Glassport High School in 1949 with honors. She attended Maryville College and graduated in 1953 with a Bachelors in English Education. Upon graduation, Nancy was hired by Capital Airlines and trained at what is now Reagan National Airport. Upon completion of her training, she was assigned to Chattanooga as a reservationist and ticket agent. Chattanooga is where she met her future husband, Billy T. Atkins, Sr.,
Nancy and Bill were married on Nov. 26, 1953, in McKeesport, Pa., and established their residence in Chattanooga. Nancy was hired at Combustion Engineering as an industrial editor of the Chattanooga company newspaper the CE News. While working as an editor of the CE News she won a golden pen award which resulted in her articles being reprinted in the corporate headquarters magazine, Combustion Topics. Nancy resigned her position with Combustion in 1956 upon the birth of her first child, Beth. After her son, Terry was born she went back to work as a reference librarian in the TVA technical library and later served as the library supervisor after her daughter, Amy was born. Nancy was selected for the TVA management training program where she spent time replacing each section head in the Office Service Branch. While serving in her many roles she was a member of the National Management Association and served as a board member of the Chattanooga chapter. She edited the club’s newspaper which won top prize for publication.
Nancy and her family were always so proud of her career. She served as a supervisor during a time when women were given few opportunities to advance their career and she did it while also successfully raising a family. Nancy took early retirement in 1988 and joined her husband, Bill, in traveling the United States while also spending the winters in Melbourne, Florida.
Nancy was predeceased by her parents, Margaret and Samuel Ferguson of Chattanooga, TN, her husband of 65 years, Billy T. Atkins, Sr., her brother and sister-in-law Keith and Margaret Ferguson of Rio Verde, Arizona, her sister and brother-in-law, Marjorie and Jim Goody of Aurora, Colorado and her brother-in-law Glenn A. Atkins of Conyers, GA.
She is survived by her children, Beth (Jimmy) Lawrence of Auburn, AL, Billy T. (Terry) Atkins, Jr. (Ida) of Antioch, IL, Amy (Mark) Whitt of Hixson, TN and her grandson Benjamin T. Atkins of Antioch, IL. In addition, she is survived by her sister-in-law, Virginia Atkins of Chattanooga, TN, sister in law Ada Atkins of Conyers, GA, and her brother-in-law Bruce (Mary Ann) Atkins of South Pittsburgh, TN along with a host of nieces and nephews.
Nancy was a member of Red Bank Baptist Church and the Truth-Seekers Sunday School Class.
Visitation will be held on Thursday, March 10, from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. prior to the funeral service in the chapel of Hamilton Funeral Home with Pastor Bill Harvey officiating.
Nancy will be buried alongside her husband at the Chattanooga National Cemetery.
Donations in Nancy’s memory can be made to the Prime Timers Ministry at Red Bank Baptist Church or to the Chattanooga Community Kitchen.
Beth, Terry, and Amy would like to express their deepest appreciation to the wonderful caregivers from Gooden’s Compassionate Care and Hospice of Chattanooga for their dedication in taking care of Mom.
Arrangements are entrusted to Hamilton Funeral Home, 4506 Hixson Pike, Hixson, 423 531-3975.