Jeanne Beverly McCormick Atkins received the ultimate healing for cancer on July 22, 2020.
Jeanne was born on April 2, 1933. She was an only child, the apple of her Daddy’s eye. He lovingly called her “Boy” and “Old Timer.”
As Mr. McCormick worked for the U.S. government in the meat grading service, the family moved several times during Jeanne’s early life. She attended kindergarten in Hampton, Va. under the tutelage of Mrs. Wainwright.
One of her favorite memories was marching to the music of John Phillips Sousa every morning. Jeanne was crowned kindergarten May Queen at the age of 6, to her father’s delight (“That’s my daughter!” he boasted to a news reporter covering the program).
Government relocations for the family included Baltimore, Md., and finally Richmond, Va., The family lived on West 45th Street (where, five doors away, Jack lived – with whom she had her first date at 14 years old).
She graduated from Thomas Jefferson High School, where she was sponsor of Company F of the Cadet Corps. She attended Madison College for Women in Harrisonburg, Va., completing three years (two winters at Madison and two summers at the University of Richmond). One of her disappointments was that she did not complete her Bachelor of Science degree requirements, but did secure her MRS. Degree.
When her family moved to Richmond, they attended Woodland Heights Baptist Church. One Sunday, they walked down the aisle, where the parents moved their church letter and Jeanne gave her heart to Christ. She was baptized by Rev. Dr. M. Jackson White. She worked in the nursery, assisted in Vacation Bible School, sang in the youth choir, taught 2-year-olds and was later a co-superintendent of the Young Married Peoples Department with Jack.
On Dec. 26, 1953, Jeanne married the boy down the street, her “tall, dark, and handsome Jack,” who became her beloved life partner. She and her friends decorated the church and Jeanne made headbands and earrings for her six attendants. During the candlelight ceremony, the couple recited their vows, with no prompting from Rev. Stuart B. Simms, and ended with the scripture verses Ruth 1:16-17. Jack’s sister Charlotte and others were on the edge of their seats, waiting for lapses of memory – which never occurred!
Following a three-day honeymoon to Yorktown, Jamestown and Williamsburg, Va., the couple moved to Long Branch, N.J., where Jack was serving at Fort Monmouth. Jeanne worked for a local dentist, Dr. Nastasia, wearing starched, white uniforms and many “hats.”
When Jack was sent to the Mojave Desert (Death Valley and Edwards Air Force Base) Jeanne returned to Richmond to await the birth of their first daughter, Joy Denise. On April 21, 1955, after 17 hours of floor pacing by Jeanne’s father, “Daddy Mac,” Joy was born. Her sister Jacque Lyn made a faster entrance on April 21, 1958, in only five hours. The unofficially adopted son-in-love David Wamsley came into the family in 1972 – his date of birth was April 21, 1952.
Jeanne was employed by the National Society for the Prevention of Blindness, working out of her Richmond home, allowing her to be at home with the daughters. She was active in the James River Junior Women’s Club, serving as president in 1962.
Later, when Honeywell transferred Jack to Atlanta, she was employed there by periodontists Huff and Mixon. On the transfer of the family to Greenville, S.C., she worked for the Bigelow Carpet Company for 16 years as Administrative Assistant to Senior Vice-President of Marketing.
While in Greenville, Jeanne and Jack were members of Taylors First Baptist Church. Her service there was mostly behind the scenes, although she continued to teach 2-year olds (a total of nine years) and she and Jack directed weddings for eight years.
When the couple retired to Wyoming and joined the New Hope Baptist Church, Jeanne stayed busy creating a newsletter, serving as the chair of the Special Events Committee, Women on Mission, arranging flowers, teaching children and youth classes and acting as the Church Clerk. Jeanne and Jack were currently active members of First Presbyterian Church of Cody.
Her hobbies included reading, photography, baking bread, travel and hiking. She was a frustrated artist and writer, finally giving up on both after being published in 2013.
Jeanne was outgoing, interested in others, and always trying to be a “Barnabas” (an encourager) and a witness for Jesus. Her life, especially the final years, belonged to her Lord. She sought His will and purposes as she tried to be a servant for him.
Jeanne is survived by her devoted husband and best friend Jack, two daughters Joy Bury (Michael) and Jacque Bruce (Timothy), and son-in-love David Wamsley (Marlene), in addition five grandchildren and three great-grandchildren.
The date of a celebration service to be held at First Presbyterian Church Cody will be announced later.
In lieu of flowers, please give to the First Presbyterian Church of Cody’s Restoration Fund or to the Spirit Mountain Hospice house fund.