Mr. Dick this is to you!


Mr. Dick (Richard Atkins):


Kind, Generous, Thoughtful, Helpful, Honest, Hospitable, Considerate, Unselfish, Charitable, Fair, Loving, Giving, Uncle, Brother, Father, Grandfather, Friend… Just plain GOOD!!!

Last week a very dear friend, grandfather figure, neighbor, Mr. Dick, passed away after fighting a two year battle with prostate cancer. Mr. Dick was our neighbor for the past six years. Not only was he our neighbor, but all of the aforementioned! When we first moved to the “city”, Mr. Dick was the first on our doorstep with goodies and offering to help us move in. He was there to check in on us, be sure we had everything we needed, and continued this until he was unable physically to do these things. Even then he was always asking us how we were!!

“Mr. Dick” (this is what everyone knew him as) had no children of his own, biologically, but in fact he had 100’s of children and grandchildren. He adopted anyone he met! Anyone that knew Mr. Dick knew that he was a kind and generous man who would do anything for anyone. He was so great at connecting with people and “showing them the way”.

Mr. Dick was an active member of his church, First Presbyterian of Corinth, MS; active in his community, the biggest Ole Miss fan ever, and loved being around others. His home as well as his heart was always open to anyone who wanted to come and be a part of his world. The kids knew he would always be there to give ice-cream and popsicles, runners in the neighborhood knew his outdoor refrigerator was always stocked with water for them to “grab & go”, and his home was always open to anyone who wanted to stop for a chat and of course you had eat something too. Mr. Dick was known for making sure everyone was fed and had plenty before they left his home.

Mr. Dick also loved to see those he love succeed! When Jason and I first started talking about opening Rowan House, he was encouraging and eager to help us get started. I can’t tell you how many customers he sent to our shop!! Anyone he saw he would ask them, “Have you been to Rowan House?” (Chad Dickerson you can attest to this! And if you haven’t been to Sanctuary be sure to go!) When we moved to a larger space, Mr. Dick was there to help!!! He not only came and gave us “direction” (ha ha), he came by daily to check on the progress, brought us food for nourishment and even when he didn’t feel well he came! He would have the girls find him a comfy chair and he assembled lamps or unpacked inventory. After we opened he would bring the girls candy and food, which we LOVED!!!

I pray that his upbeat spirit and generosity will be a lesson to us all! I know that many of us have stories about “Mr. Dick” and I encourage you to share them in the comments below. During his sickness he was upbeat, faithful, and always thinking of others first. He had a deep faith in our Lord and Savior and showed his faith to others daily. I pray that I can show that same generosity and faithfulness to others. Jeremiah 31:3 says “I have loved you with an everlasting love…” Mr. Dick showed the same love that Jesus has shown to us, and I pray that we would elevate our expectations and show love to others today and everyday!

To see more about Rowan House and Chalk Paint, decorative paint by Annie Sloan, visit



Comments (6)

Lisa KramerMay 30, 2017 at 12:42 pm

Well said Emily! He will be so missed!


Tammy PaceMay 30, 2017 at 2:53 pm

So very true and how wonderful of you to post this tribute. Dick was an amazing human who showed us all a picture of God's love here on earth. I took him some flowers from our First Pres "Joy in Bloom" ministry last Monday. We make arrangements from the Sunday altar flowers and deliver to those who are sick, shut-ins, lonely, etc. Even though he lay so weak and weary in a hospital bed he wanted to know who'd placed the flowers on Sunday. I told him Mr. Leroy Worsham in memory of Mrs. Sarah. He was so appreciative and talked a little bit with Maggie Claire. This was the last time I got to see him this side of glory but I'll forever treasure the time I got to know him and spend with him. We are all better for having known him and our greatest tribute to him would to be to live our lives by his example. RIP sweet friend 😍


    rowanMay 30, 2017 at 3:53 pm

    Tammy that is so sweet! He is definitely going to be missed!


Susanne CooperMay 30, 2017 at 10:20 pm

You described Dick to a "T".
He encouraged those around him and had the best attitude ALWAYS. He always thought of others before himself. He was blessed because he was a blessing to everyone who knew him. He didn't just speak the gospel, he lived it everyday. He lived what I like to call "an excellent life".
I sure miss my friend!

“In his grace, God has given us different gifts for doing certain things well. So if God has given you the ability to prophesy, speak out with as much faith as God has given you. If your gift is serving others, serve them well. If you are a teacher, teach well. If your gift is to encourage others, be encouraging. If it is giving, give generously. If God has given you leadership ability, take the responsibility seriously. And if you have a gift for showing kindness to others, do it gladly. Don’t just pretend to love others. Really love them. Hate what is wrong. Hold tightly to what is good. Love each other with genuine affection, and take delight in honoring each other.”
‭‭Romans‬ ‭12:6-10‬ ‭NLT


Ashley PirkleMay 31, 2017 at 9:47 am

Emily this is beautiful and so very true! He loved having you and Jason as neighbors and I felt I knew you before I even met you. Love to you both.


George AtkinsJune 1, 2017 at 12:15 am

Thank you so much for this lovely tribute. Dick loved all of his neighbors like they were his family and I know y'all treated him the same way. I hope his neighborhood will always continue with the same spirit.


Leave a comment