Heaven became a little brighter Sept. 18.
Mary Alice Atkins, 90, formerly of Halsey, died Sept. 18, 2011, at Good Samaritan Hospital in Kearney.
Mary Alice was born July 12, 1921, at Callaway, to Walter and Maude Manion Brittan. She graduated from Arnold High School in 1939.
In 1942, she married Roy Atkins. They farmed near Arnold until buying a ranch near Halsey and moving to the Sandhills in 1951, to ranch, farm, raise a family, and enjoy the "good life."
Mary Alice grew up with a love of horses and ranching. In addition to being a working partner on the ranch, she also found time for community service. She served on the school board, library board, as a 4-H leader and belonged to an extension club for many years. She was a member of the Halsey United Church of Christ and enjoyed belonging to various bridge clubs.
Along with her passion for working outdoors, she took great pride in gardening and keeping a well-manicured lawn. She always had time for a game of cards and loved to beat her grandkids and friends at cribbage.
Mary Alice and Roy made a positive impact on the lives of so many young people who came to the ranch seeking a chance at a better life. They provided them a structured home and taught them life values and skills. Family, friends, and her second family at Northridge Retirement Community will cherish her memory.
Survivors include her children, grandchildren, great-grandchildren and families: Son, Larry (Barbara) Atkins of Grand Junction, Colo; Jessica (Steve) Vasicko, Lilly; Matthew Atkins.
Daughter, Sharon (Larry) Davis of Des Moines, Iowa; Melynda (Michael) Noord-hoek, Marshall Wissink, Kennedi Wissink; Scott Davis.
Son, Alan (Sallie) Atkins of Halsey; Tracy Rehberg, Aaron, Elena; Tessa Atkins; Terra (Brandon) Boyer, Emily, Allie.
Daughter, Sandra Brown of Des Moines, Iowa; Christina Brown- (Denis) Treer; Skyler Brown, Landen Hopkins, Noah Treer (deceased), Kodi Treer; Shelly Brown (Charlie Swift), Brooklyn Swift.
She was preceded in death by her parents; brother, Robert Brittan; sister, Fern Cornell; half-brother, Walter L. Brittan and great-grandson, Noah Treer.
Serviceswere Sept. 24, 2011, at the Purdum United Church of Christ with Pastor Stan Murdoch officiating. Burial was at the Purdum Cemetery. Memorials have been established to the Sandhills Scholarship Fund or the Purdum Cemetery Fund.
Our memories are good ones, and we'll see you on the other side. "The cows are coming home."
Published in Custer County Chief, Sept. 29, 2011