Anna Mae Atkins passed away peacefully at Morristown Medical Center on Friday, June 7, 2019. She was 101 years old.
She was born at home on her parents’ farm in the Combs Hollow section of Randolph on March 19, 1918. Her parents were David Minard and Nana Mae (Mockridge) Lewis.
Anna Mae is survived by her son, David “Davey” Atkins, 70, a resident at Hunterdon Developmental Center in Clinton; and many nieces, nephews, cousins, and friends. She was predeceased by her husband Kenneth Pazant Atkins, in 1994; and by her sister Wilma Lewis Sagurton, in 2010.
Anna Mae attended the two-room school house on Old Brookside Road in Mount Freedom and Hilltop School in Mendham. She graduated from Morristown High School in 1938.
As a teenager, she worked as a server at Schiff Boy Scout Reservation. She became a nurse and worked for over 50 years, first at Dover General Hospital, the at Ascot Manor in Morris Township and Holly Manor in Mendham, before finishing her career doing private duty nursing.
Always a lover of animals, she remembered the good life on the farm fondly, even Pecky, the appropriately named rooster that was almost as big as her and chased her around the farmyard. One of the joys of her childhood, repeated over and over, was when her father would let his girls ride the cows out of the barn, only to be thrown off every time. She loved her horse, Queenie, and a long line of rescue dogs adopted from St. Hubert’s Animal Welfare Center.
In 1927, when the Mendham and Morristown Water Company condemned their father’s and their neighbor’s farms for a reservoir that was never built, she and her family moved to a much smaller farm on Mountainside Road in Mendham. She lived on Mountainside Road for 92 years, first at her father’s house and then next door where she and her husband, Ken, built a home on a lot subdivided from her father’s orchard in 1956.
Anna Mae found the love of her life in her husband, Ken. They married in 1942 and their son, Davey, was born in 1950. Davey had cerebral palsy and Anna Mae devoted her life to loving him and Ken and caring for them.
One of Anna Mae’s favorite things to say was, “Life is too short.” Yes, it is.