• Community & Visitors
    Community & Visitors
  • Families
  • Alumni
  • Faculty & Staff
    Faculty & Staff
  • Current Students
    Current Students
  • Prospective Students
    Prospective Students

Wesley Mourns Loss of Longtime Alumni Board Volunteer


John B. Atkins, Sr. '62 of Salisbury, Md. died suddenly on Saturday, July 5, 2014 at the age of 71. John was a dedicated Wesley advocate, donor and volunteer who served on the Alumni Association Board of Directors for more than 24 years and was a past president. After two years at Wesley Junior College, during which he was very involved in drama with the Wesley Players, he went on to study engineering at the University of Maryland. He had a long career with Webcraft, also known as Vertis, Inc., as a certified plant engineer and energy manager for 22 years in Salisbury and New Jersey, before retiring in 2006.

During John's faithful service to the Alumni Association Board of Directors for more than two decades, he held every office except treasurer, and served as vice president twice during his tenure. He was elected Alumni Board president in 1988. He was an active member of the Class of 1962, having volunteered for countless class reunions and activities over the years. In honor of his dedicated service to his alma mater, John was awarded the distinguished Wesley College Alumnus of the Year award in 2006. 

"John was a proud 1962 graduate of Wesley College who never forgot his alma mater, nor the friendships he made there," said Carolyn Nicolai '62. "He gave generously through the years, with his time, his talents as well as financially, and he encouraged others to do the same.The world was a better place with John in it."

In addition to his involvement with the College, he was a loyal volunteer for his church and community, particularly the Lion’s Club. He is survived by his wife of 49 years, Sandra “Jae” Atkins, along with a son and daughter-in-law, brother, several grandchildren and other family members. Some of John’s fellow alumni and friends have chosen to honor him through a contribution to Wesley College in his memory. Memorial gifts can be made through the online giving form or by calling 302-736-2467.