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William Edward "Bill" Atkinson, Jr.

of Little Rock, AR, 1937 - 2022

WILLIAM EDWARD "BILL" ATKINSON, JR, passed away peacefully at home on October 22, 2022. He was a devoted husband, loving father, and PawPaw extraordinaire.
Bill was born on January 22, 1937, to W.E. and Mildred Atkinson, and raised in Fordyce, Ark. He had a lifelong love of sports, lettering in five high school sports, but was most proud of playing football as the Redbug quarterback under Coach Red Parker. He continued his football career at the University of Arkansas at Fayetteville, but left to enlist in the US Army as a cryptographer. After honorably serving, he returned to graduate from Arkansas A & M, followed by U of A Medical School. Dr. Atkinson was a respected pathologist at St. Vincent's Infirmary in Little Rock from 1971-1997 and served as Chief of Pathology from 1977-1997 as well as Director of Medical Technology for that same time period. In 1984, he created and chaired the SVI Second Opinion Cancer Panel, which provided second opinions free of charge for patients with a possible cancer diagnosis. He was named St. Vincent's Physician of the Year for 1991-1992.
Bill loved musicals, and would sing along – or at least whistle – to any song he heard. He was a great storyteller and loved good jokes, golf, cheering on the Razorbacks, and dancing with his wife in the kitchen. He was a gentle, kind man, unless you played against him in any form of game or tried to share a dessert with him.
He was preceded in death by his parents, his grandchild, Morgan; and his brother-in-law, Tom Caplinger. He is missed beyond measure by his loving wife of 47 years, Beth; his son, Aaron Capel (Kimberly); his daughters Leah Capel and Ashlie Atkinson (Leon); his granddaughter Sydney Abercrombie (Eric); his sister Mary Ann Caplinger; and a host of family and friends who cherish his memory.
The immediate family will have a private service followed by cremation. In lieu of flowers or donations, the family asks that you raise a glass and tell a joke in honor of "Bill the Best."

Published October 25, 2022

Smith Little Rock Funeral Home
8801 Knoedl Ct., Little Rock, AR
Phone: 501-224-2200