OBITUARY: Billy M. Atnip

Billy M. Atnip

Billy M. Atnip – Age 89, began his eternal life with his Savior on August 20, 2021.

He was born on February 18, 1932 in Richard City, TN and was the 4th of 5 children born to Charles C. and Canna Wynne Atnip. His father owned and ran a gas station and operated the Esso distribution plant in South Pittsburg, TN. His mother delivered mail by horse and buggy as a young girl.

He spent his entire childhood in the South Pittsburg/Richard City, TN area where he attended South Pittsburg High School before transferring to David Lipscomb High School where he lived as a high school boarding student in Harding Hall on the campus of David Lipscomb College.

While continuing his education at Lipscomb College, he met and fell in love with a Lipscomb High School student, Mary Lois Waller. He and Mary were lovingly married 54 years before her passing in 2008. In their early marriage, they lived in San Antonio, TX and Tacoma, Washington while Bill served in the U.S. Army as a medic.

Following his military duty, Bill and Mary returned to Nashville where he began a long-time career with the U.S. Postal Service in downtown Nashville. He retired from the Post Office as Director of 2nd Class Mail for the state of Tennessee. He then served as Director of Auxiliary Services for Lipscomb University before retiring again. He later worked at Woodbine Funeral Home, Hickory Chapel where his kind, gentle spirit helped many families in their time of grief.

Bill and Mary enjoyed driving to all 48 of the contiguous states, camping with friends from Tusculum Church of Christ, supporting Ernie’s teams, family gatherings and being grandparents to their beloved grandsons, Keith and Chris. They built a happy home that was always full of laughter and love for each other and the Lord.

Bill and Mary were founding members of the Tusculum Church of Christ where he served as a deacon and their first treasurer. They later worshipped at the Hillsboro Church of Christ where he served as a deacon and was an integral part of the World Bible School Program. As director of this program at both Hillsboro and then later Crieve Hall Church of Christ, he taught the Bible to thousands of students throughout the years. Many souls in Africa and around the globe were taught the Bible and introduced to Jesus by his tireless dedication of sending, grading, and teaching the gospel through correspondence lessons.

In 2012, Bill married Wilma Hardison McNutt and they were so happily married for 8 years. They traveled to Alaska and enjoyed fellowship with their families and their Crieve Hall Church friends. The Hardison and McNutt families welcomed him with open hearts and homes. Bill’s life was made fuller and richer by his marriage to Wilma and her extended family.

Bill loved sports – especially when being played by his children or grandchildren or coached by his son-in-law, Ernie.

He was an encourager – always with a ready handshake that made you feel important and a smile that made you feel loved.

He was a confidence booster that made you feel as though you could tackle any task you faced.

He was a skilled tinkerer who could fix or build anything.

He was meticulous in all he did and believed that “Anything worth doing is worth doing right.”

He was a jokester who loved to laugh and make others smile.

He was a friend to many and respected by all who knew him.

He was a caring son, brother, husband, father, grandfather, great grandfather and uncle. He loved his family more than anything on this earth. He provided for them and protected them. He gave wise counsel to them and loved them all unconditionally.

But more than anything, Bill loved his Lord. He loved scripture, worship and teaching others about God. He loved serving. He was so appreciative of God’s gift of His Son and he lived every day in a way that showed his appreciation of that gift. He believed in leading and teaching quietly and by his example. The world was a better place with Bill Atnip in it.

Bill was preceded in death by his wife, Mary Atnip; his parents, Charles and Canna Atnip; his brothers, Elwynne Atnip and Dr. Bob Atnip; his sister, Mary Lucy Taylor; his daughter-in-law, Vicki Sanders Atnip.

He leaves behind: his wife, Wilma Atnip; his three children, Jerry Atnip, Larry Atnip, Regina Smith and her husband, Ernie Smith; his two grandsons, Keith Smith and his wife, Delaney and Chris Smith; his 4 month old great grandson, Ryman Saint Smith; stepchildren, Dr. Tim McNutt and his wife, Kathy and Michelle McNutt; step-grandchildren, Dr. Timothy McNutt and his wife, Amy, Jeremy McNutt and his wife, Christine, Dr. David McNutt and his wife, Sarah; and 7 step-great-grandchildren who loved their “Bill”: Jacob, Jonah, Easton, Grant, Briley, Savannah, Ellie and James.

A life well lived…” Well done good and faithful servant.”

Donations in Bill’s honor can be made to these organizations that were dear to his heart.

Christian Family Services, 7955 Big Bend Blvd., Webster Groves, Missouri 63119

AGAPE Nashville – 4555 Trousdale Drive, Nashville, TN 37204

World Bible School – In care of Hillsboro Church of Christ, 5800 Hillsboro Pike, Nashville, TN 37215