Beverley Ann (Johnson) Atkins, 81, of Indian Head Park, Ill., and formerly of Aroma, Ind., passed away at home early on Tuesday, March 5, 2019. She had received a cancer diagnosis in August of 2017. Bev was born Sept. 16, 1937 in Elwood, Ind., the daughter of Eugene and Ferol (Roberts) Johnson.
She graduated from Walnut Grove High School in 1955, and went on to graduate from DePauw University in 1959 with a Bachelor’s Degree in Education and a minor in Sociology. Beverley met David L. Atkins in high school, and they dated in college. The couple were later married by the Reverend John D. Atkins, the groom's father, in 1959 at the Aroma United Methodist Church, and they shared over 50 years of marriage before his passing in 2010. Dave and Bev remained part of the Aroma M.E. church community throughout their lives, while also becoming members, while in Illinois, of Flossmoor Community Church, and later of Union Church of Hinsdale, UCC.
Beverley started her teaching career in Noblesville, Indiana, and continued teaching in Columbus, Indiana. The family relocated to the Chicago area in 1969, settling first in Homewood, and later Flossmoor, in 1977. Beverley worked as a teacher's aide, and later as a certified E.S.L. teacher, in Flossmoor school district 161. She helped many immigrant children to navigate the local school system, and to feel welcome in America. She chose to work in these roles, in order to enjoy the after school hours with her daughters, leading Kate's 4-H group, and Liz's Brownie troop. Beverley was elated to be a Mom, and enjoyed supporting her daughters in their assorted endeavors.
Community service and community involvement were bywords in Beverley's life. She and her husband imparted these values to their daughters, and she exemplified them throughout her life. Involvement in the League of Women Voters was one of her earliest efforts, first in Indiana, and later in Illinois, where she served as President of the local League chapter, and traveled downstate to Springfield, to advocate on school funding and other statewide issues. Beverley also served on the H-F Parents Association, the Homewood Village Planning Commission, and the Flossmoor View Committee. Beverley was also concerned about the homeless, and volunteered for several seasons with Public Action to Deliver Shelter. She was a member of the Steering Committee for the South Suburban Family Shelter and a regular contributor to local food pantries; and to Deborah's Place, an organization serving homeless women. 
Education, and strengthening the public schools in Ilinois, were primary concerns of Bev's. She served for over nineteen years on the Homewood-Flossmoor High School Board, between 1979 and 1998, including a 4 year term as President of the Board from 1990 to 1993. Her activism within the state included filling numerous roles between 1980 and 1991 with the Illinois Association of School Boards and serving on committees created by state Senator DeAngelis, state Representative Madigan, and with Ed-Red, a state educational advocacy organization.
Beverley and David moved to Indian Head Park in 2002, where they enjoyed travel within the U.S. And Canada. David retired, and served on the townhome association. They enjoyed the arrival of grandchildren, starting in 2004. Following Dave's passing, Beverley created a fulfilling life by actively participating in a P.E.O. Chapter; joining two book groups, assuming David's role on the townhome association, and spending time weekly with her grandchildren. 
Beverley’s family includes two daughters, Katherine (Angus) Atkins-Trimnell of Homewood, Ill. and Elizabeth (Matthew) Nickerson of Chicago, Ill.; three grandchildren, Ewan Atkins-Trimnell, John Nickerson, and Julia Nickerson; her sister-in-law Marni (Margaret Atkins) Powell; her cousins, James Johnson of Aroma, Ind., Kelvin (wife Joan) Booty of Walnut Creek, Calif., Tim (wife Kris) Johnson of Aroma, Ind., and Colleen (husband Tom) Hilgenberg of New Bern, N.C. Her nieces and nephews include David (wife Beth) Powell, John (wife Kristen) Powell, Julie Johnson Baron, Kyle Johnson, Dane (wife Margit Falk) Johnson, Andrew (partner David Yin) Booty, Debbie (husband Ron) Hammer, Tim Atkins, Amy (husband: Tim) Pauly, Jon Reed, Jill (husband: Sam) Allen, Jay (wife Malinda) Johnson, and Jennifer (husband: Rob) Matthews.
The family circle further includes Edward “Nick” Nickerson, Louisa Nickerson, Morgan (wife Meghan) Powell, Graham Powell, Bethany Powell, Britta Powell, Aubrey (husband: Justin) Hess, Sam Allen, Jacob Allen, Gabriel Johnson, Lydia (husband Adam) Dohrmann, Jessie Johnson, Zechariah Matthews, Sarah Matthews, Adam Matthews, Elizabeth Hammer, Timothy Hammer, and Katherine Hammer. 
Beverley was preceded in death by her parents, Eugene and Ferol Johnson; husband, David L. Atkins who passed away July 17, 2010; brother, Layton Johnson and sister-in-law Nancy Johnson.
A funeral service honoring Beverley’s life will be conducted at noon on Saturday, March 16, at the Aroma United Methodist Church, 16301 E. 281 St., in rural Atlanta. Pastor Charlie Hoover will officiate. Burial will follow in the Aroma Cemetery adjacent to the church. Visitation for family and friends will be held from 11 a.m. to noon prior to the funeral at the church.
Memorial contributions may be made to the Aroma United Methodist Church Cemetery Fund. Funeral arrangements have been entrusted to Copher-Fesler-May Funeral Home in Elwood, Indiana. Online condolences and memories may be shared at www.copherfeslermay.com