Edna Ruth Barnes Atkinson, 95 of Sanford passed away Wednesday December 21, 2022.
Funeral services will be held at 2:00 pm Monday January 2, 2023, at St. Luke United Methodist Church. Burial will follow at Buffalo Cemetery.
Mrs. Atkinson was born in Lucama, NC, a daughter of the late Luther Haywood Barnes and Josephine Boyette Barnes. She was preceded in death by her husband of 68 years, Ernest Willard Atkinson; brother, L.H. Barnes and her sister, Peggy Barnes.
Edna enjoyed life to the fullest and always had a good time, no matter what she was doing. She was proud to have been the first girl bus driver in her town, earning $9 per month, when the boys were drafted into the army during WWII.
She grew up on a farm in Wilson County, NC, which had been in her family for many years. She graduated from Lucama School in 1945 as the Valedictorian of her class. She went on to graduate from Peace College in 1947 and Woman’s College in Greensboro in 1949. She was active in many college and athletic organizations.
She loved teaching children. Her first teaching job was in Wilson, NC. After that year of teaching, she married her high school sweetheart, and they lived and taught in many places. Her husband Ernest was a coach of both girls’ and boys’ basketball and boys’ football.
They lived in the North Carolina towns of Middlesex, Bladenboro, Maxton and High Falls. They made a home in and loved all these towns while they were there. From High Falls they came to Sanford and made their permanent home.
Edna taught 3rd grade at Warren Williams and St. Clair Schools in Sanford for 30 years before retiring, and she played piano for the men’s Sunday school class at St. Luke United Methodist Church for years. In retirement, Edna and her husband Ernest loved to travel to see their children and grandchildren and spend time at the beach.
Mrs. Atkinson is survived by sons, Ernest Steve Atkinson (Kellie) of Iron Station, NC, and James Willard “Jim” Atkinson (Kelly) of Lookout Mtn, TN; daughter, Wendy Atkinson Hales (Greg) of Sanford; six grandchildren, Maddie Atkinson Filingo (Austin), Josie Atkinson, Holley Atkinson, Erin Atkinson, Emily Atkinson, and Aimee Atkinson; two great grandchildren, Luke Fauser (Michaela) and Katie Balch; two great-great grandchildren, Julia and Jackson Fauser.
The family will greet friends in the Parlor at St. Luke starting at 1:00 pm before the funeral service.
Memorial contributions can be made to St Luke United Methodist Church, 2916 Wicker St, Sanford, NC 27330 or the charity of your choice.