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Donald R Atkinson

July 15, 1954 ~ December 4, 2021 (age 67) 67 Years Old


Durden-Hudson Funeral Directors announces the passing of Mr. Donald R. Atkinson, age 67,  of Garfield, GA, on Saturday, December 4, 2021 at his residence.

The family will receive friends Monday, December 6, 2021, from 6-8 PM in the Peebles-Curry Memorial Chapel.

Funeral services will be Tuesday, December 7, 2021, at 11:00 AM in the New Beginnings In Christ Church in Garfield, GA

Interment will follow in the Hebron Primitive Baptist Church Cemetery in Garfield, GA.

Pallbearers are Rob Jean, John Jean, Abb Johnson, Ken Scott, Steven Thompson, Lee Foskey, Wendell Brown and Wesley Mattox.

Honorary Pallbearers will be Graduates of NBIC (New Beginnings In Christ Recovery.

Mr. Atkinson was born July 15, 1954, in Millen, GA, to Robert Shorts and Bobbie Joyce Pope Atkinson.  He was a 1972 graduate of ECI (Emanuel County Institute); and received two degrees from ABAC (Abraham Baldwin Agricultural College), Forestry and Wildlife Management. Donald has lived in Garfield his entire life, he has farmed, operated a large commercial pecan business, operated Gray Mule Farms, Gray Mule Pecan Co, Atkinson Pecan Products, Garfield Equipment Co. along with other endeavors. He along with his beloved Joanna, with the help of Almighty God, provided a place for thousands of men who were ravaged by addiction. There they could find deliverance in God’s hands and were allowed to heal and begin new life.  New Beginnings In Christ Recovery was founded on Donald’s faith in God. His Christian guidance and patience helped guide many to healing and recovery.  Donald served as City Councilman and mayor of Garfield, and filled many other roles. We could write forever and never say enough, but he would say we have written too much. He was a quiet man; prone to think rather that talk, but when he did he spoke wisdom. He was preceded in death by his father, Robert Shorts Atkinson.

Survivors include:

His Wife of 40 years:   Joanna Johnson Atkinson of Garfield, GA

Mother: Bobbie Joyce Pope Atkinson of Garfield, GA

Daughter: Anna Atkinson Cowart (Casey) of Twin City, GA

Son: Jacob “Jake” Donald Atkinson of Garfield, GA

Sister: Cheryl Jean (Richard) Gray, GA

Brother: Chris Atkinson (Nancy Mixon Motes) of Garfield, GA

Grandchildren: Aubrey-Anna Cowart and Case Cowart along with aunts, uncles, cousins, nieces, nephews and extended family.

Should friends desire, memorial contributions may be made to NBIC, P O Box 192, Garfield, GA, 30425, or on their website at

Condolences may be submitted online at          

Durden-Hudson Funeral Directors is in charge of arrangements for Mr. Donald R. Atkinson of Garfield, GA.

To send flowers to the family or plant a tree in memory of Donald R Atkinson, please visit our floral store.


December 6, 2021

6:00 PM to 8:00 PM
Peebles Curry Memorial Chapel
206 E Pine St.
Swainsboro, Georgia 30401

Funeral Service
December 7, 2021

11:00 AM
New Beginnings in Christ Church

Garfield, GA

Interment following funeral service
December 7, 2021

Hebron Primitive Baptist Church Cemetery

Garfield, GA 30425


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