Wednesday, September 26, 2012
Dr. Carolyn V. Atkins - another freedom fighter lost
Carolyn V. Atkins
September 21, 1930 - September 23, 2012
Dr. Carolyn V. Atkins, age 82, of Jefferson City, Missouri, passed away Sunday, September 23, 2012, at the Oak Tree Villa Nursing Center in Jefferson City. She was born September 21, 1930, in Saint Louis, Missouri, and was preceded in death by her parents Eva Vaughn and Attorney George L. Vaughn, a prominent civil rights attorney and state Democrat party official. A brother who was also an attorney and a sister likewise preceded her in death.
Dr. Atkins had an extensive career in social services including employment with several Saint Louis and metro eastern Illinois agencies in addition to working as a Psychological Examiner for the Saint Louis Board of Education. In 1971, she was employed by the Missouri Department of Corrections as Superintendent of the Tipton Correctional Center for Women in Tipton, Missouri. Following this experience, the governor of Missouri appointed her to serve a term as the first woman and first African American member of the Missouri Board of Probation and Parole. She served there from 1978 to 1984 with service as board Chairperson from 1978-1981. In 1985, Dr. Atkins joined the faculty of Lincoln University in Jefferson City as an Assistant Professor Criminal Justice retiring in 2002 as a tenured full Professor of Criminal Justice.
She was an active member and officer of Union Memorial United Methodist Church in Saint Louis and later served in numerous capacities at Quinn Chapel AME Church in Jefferson City where at the time of her death she was a Steward Protem which is the highest lay appointed office in the church. Additionally, Dr. Atkins was a devoted member of the Delta Sigma Theta Sorority including service as president of the Jefferson City Alumnae chapter of the organization.
From 1978-1981 she was state president of the National Association of Blacks in Criminal Justice and served on the Missouri Corrections Association board of directors from 1996 to 2001. On the national level she was elected to several leadership capacities with the American Corrections Association. Locally, she was a member of the Capital Region Medical Center Board of Governors and the Institutional Review Board of the medical center. In 2006, the Zonta Club selected her from 16 nominees for one its two Women of Achievement awards for her outstanding civic and community contributions.
The visitation for Dr. Atkins will be from 10:00 a.m. to 12:00 p.m., Saturday, September 29, 2012, at Quinn Chapel AME Church where funeral services will be held at 12:00 p.m. with Rev. Cassandra Gould officiating. Interment will follow in Hawthorn Memorial Gardens. Expressions of sympathy may be made to the Quinn Chapel A.M.E. Church Scholarship Fund, 529 Lafayette St., Jefferson City, MO 65101; or the Delta Sigma Theta Scholarship Fund, P.O. Box 1303, Jefferson City, MO 65102-1303. Arrangements are under the direction of HOUSER-MILLARD Funeral Directors, 2613 W. Main, Jefferson City, MO 65109, (573) 636-3838. Condolences may be left for the family online at www.millardfamilychapels.com