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1940 - 2018

Mary Atkins, M.D. (PD ’70)

Mary Jewell Touchton Atkins MD, 77, of Benton, passed away May 10, 2018. She was born July 2, 1940 in Valdosta, Georgia to Rev. J. Paul Touchton and Edith Webb Touchton.

Mary Jewell was baptized by her uncle, the late Bishop Lance Webb, and grew up in Florida as a Methodist preacher’s kid. She graduated from Emory University (1962) and Emory University School of Medicine (1966), one of 2 women in her class. She interned at Illinois Masonic Hospital in Chicago and was a resident at Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minnesota. While practicing in Atlanta, she met her husband, Bob Atkins, at a club for tall people. After the births of their children, they moved to Arkansas where she worked at the Conway Human Development Center. In 1982, she began her practice in Benton, serving the children of Saline County for 26 years. She loved singing and was a soprano and soloist in the Benton First United Methodist Church choir. She also shared her faith through many medical missions to Guatemala and Mexico and helping teach the Roundtable Class at their church.

Mary Jewell was preceded in death by her parents and brother-in-law, John Atkins. She is survived by her husband, Bob; her children, Paul Atkins and wife, Julie, and Laura Atkins Wegener and husband, Scott; her grandchildren, Will and Max Wegener and Elizabeth Atkins; her sisters, Delia Touchton Halverson and husband, Sam, Martha Moses and husband, Michael, and Betti Knott; sister-in-law, Jeannette Atkins; nephews and nieces, Rev. Sam Halverson and wife, Kathy, Shannon Halverson, Jay Atkins and Sheree Atkins King; great-nephew and great-nieces, cousins, extended family, her patients, and friends.

Visitation will be Thursday, May 17th from 6-8pm at Ashby Funeral Home in Benton. The funeral will be Friday, May 18th at 10am at Benton First United Methodist with a burial in Chidester at 3pm.


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