It is with profound sadness we announce the passing of Barbara A. Atkins, PhD. She was 71 years of age and died fairly suddenly on July 22nd from a cancer diagnosis on July 17th. She died after spending just 3 days at Munson Medical Center.
Barb was born in Marshall, MI on May 23, 1949 to Lucius and Sylvia (DePalma) Tanner. They both preceded her in death as well as her beloved sister Joyce McKenzie.
We have lost a very intelligent, self-motivated person that enjoyed over 30 years as a dedicated educator specializing in providing the highest level of educational opportunities for all students.
Barb was an accomplished and brilliant advocate for education. She graduated from Marshall High School and received her Bachelor’s Degree from Michigan State University. She then earned her Master’s degree from Western Michigan University. She received her PhD in teaching and administration from Michigan State University. Barb worked for years in a variety of positions including the Calhoun Area Vocational center, Assistant Principal at Waverly High School, over 25 years as a consultant for the Michigan Department of Education Home Economic Division, Executive Director of Michigan State Advisory Committee of Vocational Education, State Director of Career and Technical Education, State Curriculum Director, Superintendent of Bellaire Public Schools, and also served as a consultant to The Quinn Leadership Group with the Eli Broad National Superintendent Search Project.
Barb was a hard worker and worked every summer and college break at Win Schuler’s. She was proud to personally pay for all of her college expenses with that money earned.
Barb enjoyed spending time with her family. She was a dear friend to many and had especially fond memories of travel to Mexico and Italy.
Left to cherish her memory are her husband Clifford Jump whom she married Feb. 12, 1993. She readily embraced her husband’s children Greg Jump of Ft. Wayne, IN, Sarita (Fred) Featherly of Williamston, Stephen (Robyn) Jump of Mundelein, IL, Don (Michelle) Jump of Bellaire, grandchildren Kelsey (Jake Radecki) Weyhing, Nikolai Jump, Courtney (Nathan Driggers) Weyhing, Isaak Jump, Ryan Jump, Sara Jump, Ashley (Shannon) Wahley, Marcus Featherly, Malorie Featherly, great grandchildren Camden, Mila, Easton, brother in law Bob (Chris) McKenzie of Grandville, and nephews Mike, Steve, and Patrick McKenzie, whom she became very close to and held special relationships with due to her sister’s early death from cancer.
The family wishes to thank the staff at Munson Hospital, especially the emergency department and the Cowell Family Cancer Center.
A private Celebration of Life will be held. As an expression of sympathy memorial contributions can be made to St. Jude Children’s Hospital, 501 St. Jude PL, Memphis, TN 38105-9959 or a cancer related charity. Please do not send flowers.
Arrangements have been handled by the Central Lake Chapel of Mortensen Funeral Homes. Please sign her online guestbook www.mortensenfuneralhomes.com.
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