Obituary: Ronald W. Atkins, 77, of Portsmouth
PORTSMOUTH, R.I. — Ronald W. Atkins of Portsmouth, RI passed away on Wednesday, February 22, 2017.
He is survived by his sister, Linda and her husband Jerry Prather of Canton, Missouri. He leaves his son, Mark A. Atkins of Tiverton; whose wife, Dr. Alison M. Shakarian, recently predeceased him. He also leaves his daughter, Ronna and her husband Arthur Stefanopoulos of Portsmouth and his three grandchildren, Sofia, Athanasia and Christos Stefanopoulos; who he enjoyed imparting many early lessons in gardening, chess, and sailing, as well as his love of reading.
Atkins spent his childhood in St. Joseph, Missouri, and upon graduating high school joined the U.S. Navy in order to explore the world. He had a distinguished 26-year Naval career where he worked his way through the ranks while serving at sea onboard various vessels, including three Vietnam combat tours. He later commanded the U.S. Naval facility at Grand Turk Island prior to retiring in 1981 following a post at the Naval War College. He then commenced a 27-year career at Salve Regina University in Newport, RI where he ultimately served as Professor and Chairman of the Department of Business Studies and Economics. He was known as a respected advisor to many students, and trusted mentor to fellow faculty members. In 2013 he received the Mission Award from Salve Regina for his service and distinguished career.
During his military and academic careers, he received a BA from Roger Williams University in Political Science; an MA in International Relations from the Naval War College and Salve Regina University and a Ph.D. in Humanities from Salve Regina University.
Atkins greatly enjoyed the outdoors, where he spent much of his leisure time on the water; during his youth as a lifeguard, and during his Naval career as a designated Rescue Swimmer. In more recent years, he enjoyed sailing, along with his lifelong passion for kayaking.
A memorial service will be held Saturday, February 25 at 1 p.m. at the Portsmouth United Methodist Church, 2732 East Main Road, Portsmouth, RI where Ronald was a dedicated member for over forty-five years and could always be counted on to volunteer his time and talents.
In lieu of flowers, donations may be made in his memory to the Portsmouth United Methodist Church Bell Restoration Fund, 2732 East Main Road, Portsmouth, RI 02871.