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Phyllis Atkins - March 30, 2010


Phyllis Ruth (Anderson) Atkins, 90, was born Sept. 3, 1919 at the family home in Haxtun. She was the second of four children born to Benjamin John Anderson and Ruth Mabel Lundberg Anderson. She died March 30, 2010 at the Haxtun Extended Care Unit.

Phyllis received her early education in the elementary and high school in Haxtun, graduating from high school in May of 1936 with a four-year scholarship. She attended Colorado State College of Education in Greeley and graduated in May of 1940 with bachelor’s degrees in business education, social studies and music.

She taught at the high school for two years in Arapahoe and at Haxtun High School for eight years. She continued her education for several years at the University of Denver during the summer school sessions, studying for a master’s degree. She also took lessons on the organ at the Well Music Company in Denver.

Phyllis married Wilbur Atkins on Oct. 14, 1951 and enjoyed nearly 50 years of being a farmer’s wife and raising two sons, Leon and Kirby.

In addition to her home duties, she also had time to help relatives and friends during times of sorrow. She has a record of playing music for over 300 funeral services. Because she knew the people so well, she kept track of their favorite music selections and would incorporate those melodies with hymns that had a personal message. She also enjoyed accompanying many soloists in different situations in church or other services. She would transpose their selections into the right key to make them comfortable and more effective. She enjoyed playing for many beautiful weddings in the community.

Another high point in her life was working with young people. For many years, she taught a large teenage Sunday school class each Sunday and a youth Bible class on Wednesday evenings at church.

Phyllis was a member of Haxtun Berean Bible Church for 55 years and was active in service and attendance during those years. She received the Notable Service Award in 1998 at the National Convention of the Berean Fellowship for 50 years of service as the organist, pianist and accompanist for nearly all the Haxtun church services.

Wilbur and Phyllis supported the college ministry Campus Crusade for Christ. Leon was involved in that ministry for several years and frequently brought friends home for Phyllis’ home-cooked meals. Phyllis enjoyed entertaining and providing a retreat for these young people.

Phyllis enjoyed sending out scores of cards for encouragement, birthdays, etc. to friends and relatives near and far. She also had a long prayer list she said kept her in touch with the Lord and many people.

Phyllis made sure her family was the most important part of her life. She was always proud of each one. Her grandchildren were a special delight to her and she enjoyed each one from childhood to adult life.

Phyllis accepted the Lord as her personal Savior during her teenage years during a revival service in Haxtun. During her college years, she dedicated her life and talent to the Lord. She always said God had filled her life with tons of blessings. The main one was the wonderful family who filled her life with joy, meaning and interest.

Phyllis was preceded in death by her parents, Benjamin and Ruth; husband, Wilbur; brother, Delbert Anderson; and sister, Wilma Harbaugh.

She is survived by her sons, Leon Atkins and wife Beverly of Holyoke and Kirby Atkins and wife Lisa of Haxtun; and grandchildren, Garrett Atkins and wife Tara of Houston, Texas, Sarah Ruth Atkins of Holyoke, Lance Atkins of Golden and Elise and Emily Atkins of Haxtun.

The funeral service for Phyllis was held April 3 at Haxtun Berean Bible Church with interment following at Haxtun Cemetery.

Memorial contributions may be made to the Joy to the World Ministries or Maranatha Bible Camp, c/o 514 E. Chase, Haxtun, CO 80731.

Gerk Funeral Home was entrusted with the arrangements.