Atkins, Martin G. (Bumpy), Bridgeport, Michigan

Barbara P. Frost

Passed away peacefully, Saturday, April 10, 2010, at home surrounded by his loving family. Age 87 years. He was born, April 26, 1922, to the late Sid T. and Grace (Hamilton) Atkins, in Detroit, Michigan. Marty married Joy Rick, December 16, 1944 in Mineral Wells, Texas. She survives him. He graduated from Hillsdale College, then left to serve his country with the U.S. Army during WWII. Upon his return from the war, he earned his Master’s Degree from St. Lawrence University in Canton, New York. Marty began his teaching career in North Branch, Michigan and after two years moved to Carson City, Michigan, where he became superintendent. It was there that he was recognized in Time Magazine for being instrumental in the development of the innovative open classroom concept. He continued his career by accepting a position at Central Michigan University where he became the director of Educational Television. In 1964 he moved his family to Bridgeport, Michigan, serving as superintendent for an unprecedented 15 years. Marty retired from education in 1979 and that same year was named Bridgeport’s Most Distinguished Citizen. In 2007, Bridgeport Elementary School was re-named the Martin G. Atkins Elementary School in his honor. That became one of his proudest moments. In addition to his career in Education, he served as a Lieutenant in the Saginaw County Sheriff’s Department for many years. He attended Bridgeport Community Church. Marty enjoyed many pleasures during his long life: his cottage on Sage Lake, his horses and many other animals, his 10 acres affectionately known as “A” Bar Ranch, and most importantly, his family. Surviving are his wife, Joy, of 65 years, and three children and ten grandchildren, Nancy (Wayne) Marinclin and their children, Kyle and Matt, Pittsburgh, PA; Craig (Kim) Atkins and their sons, Ben and Andy, Birch Run, MI; Pete Atkins and his children Angela and Adam, David, Brandon, Keely and Anjel, Chesaning, MI; his beloved dog, Toby. The funeral service will take place at 11:00 a.m. Wednesday, April 14, 2010, at Bridgeport Community Church, 3821 State St., Bridgeport, MI. Rev. Ronald L. Sinclair will officiate. Friends may call at the W. L. Case and Co. Funeral Chapel, 5700 Dixie Hwy from 2:00-9:00 p.m. Tuesday and then at the church from 10:00 a.m. Wednesday until the time of the funeral service. Those planning an expression of sympathy may wish to consider the Humane Society of Saginaw County.