Connie McGill Atkins, 98, of Champaign-Urbana, IL passed away at 7:51pm, Saturday, February 20, 2021 at Clark Lindsey Village, Urbana. She was born, Constance Lenore Nelson July, 29, 1922 in Ridgeway PA, daughter of Carl H and Orel Nelson and grew up in Jamestown, NY with her brother Charles (Bud). She married John Ell…read more
Connie McGill Atkins, 98, of Champaign-Urbana, IL passed away at 7:51pm, Saturday, February 20, 2021 at Clark Lindsey Village, Urbana. She was born, Constance Lenore Nelson July, 29, 1922 in Ridgeway PA, daughter of Carl H and Orel Nelson and grew up in Jamestown, NY with her brother Charles (Bud). She married John Elliot McGill (Celoron, NY) in 1945, who preceded her in death October 21, 1980. She married Dr. Robert A. Atkins in 1996 and they enjoyed over 24 fabulous years together. He survives. A Celebration of Life is scheduled for 4:00pm, April 16 at Wesley Methodist Church, Urbana. Share your memories and condolences at the Morgan Memorial Home, www.morganmemorialhome.com.
From the McGill marriage, She is survived by 4 sons 9 grandchildren and 9 great-grandchildren: JOHN 72 (Kathy) Frankfort MI – Cameron, Moscow ID – Whitney ( Mrs. Randy Borchardt : Lila 12, Briggs 10, Wade 8) Milwaukee WI JEFFREY 69, Champaign, IL – Elliott (Emily : Grace 4 , Chip 2) Mahomet, IL – Tyler (Juliann : Amelia 7 Tenny 4) Auburn-Opelika AL – Colin (Ellen) Champaign, IL – Sarah (Declan O’neil) Chicago, KEVIN 66, Bondville, IL , BRIAN 63 (Beverly) Champaign, IL – Lucas (Erin: Peter 4 James 1 ) – Jake & Maxwell, both of Champaign, IL.
From the Atkins marriage, She is survived by 3 step-children 7 grandchildren and 4 great-grandchildren, ROBERT Jr 71 (Marlene) Bass Lake IN – Christina (Mrs Michael Matousek: Abigail 18, Tyler 16, Braydon 8, Kinsley 6) Beaverton, OR – Matthew (Dawn Phalen) Chicago, IL, PEGGY 68 (Mrs Randy Stuckey) Dunlap, IL – Josh, Cincinnati, OH – Rachel, Seoul So Korea – Kara, Asia, DON 65 (Trudy) Austin TX – Benjamin & Michael both of Austin TX.
Connie attended Jamestown HS & Fredonia State Teachers College’s school of Music (cello – performance) and received a Master’s Degree in music from Columbia. After stops in Potsdam NY (NNYSTC) & Ypsilanti, MI (EMU); she and John settled to Champaign-Urbana in 1954 where John was a Prof of Elementary Education and Connie became the best mom on the planet, raising 4 boys on New Street in Champaign – where she also taught piano lessons, baked pies, and chauffeured her kids to thousands of events and school (but only in bad weather). Once the boys were older, she opened Creative Playthings, a store in downtown Champaign and starting in 1981 operated a piano tuning business for many years.
She was blessed with a strong faith and was active in the Wesley Methodist Church, UMW, PEO, Mu Phi Epsilon and served on the board of Cunningham Children’s Home for many years. Her prayer group was her bedrock of friendship and they would Elderhostel together. She loved playing piano and teamed up with her prayer group friend Beverly Williams to perform numerous duets. Her favorite holidays were Christmas – with traditional Swedish food – and Easter; always with children and grandchildren taking an active part in the festivities.
She turned into a true Illini Fan after John’s death in 1980 and traveled extensively to Illinois football and basketball games with her neighbors Bob and Dorothy Atkins, Coach Bob and Mary Wright and others of Illini Nation. After Dorothy’s death in 1995, Dr Atkins, Connie and friends continued to travel to Illini games and events and in 1996 at the age of 74 they married. Neighbors for 52 years would continue as partners for another 24.
Throughout nearly a quarter century together she and Bob traveled throughout the USA, the world and, of course, to Illini games. She and Bob loved working on puzzles together and well into their 80’s they would jet-ski on Bass Lake. She and Bob exercised daily well into their 90’s – even after a broken hip at age 96 – she walked the halls and worked out on the NuStep at CLV. Many declared them to be the cutest couple they had ever seen. Kind and charitable beyond words, their seemingly endless energy and good cheer brought smiles to anyone who met them.
Memorial Contributions: Constance McGill Atkins Scholarship Fund: Univ of IL, College of Education.
Date: Friday, April 16, 2021
Time: 03:30 pm