Murphy Funeral Homes


Nancy Ann Atkin

April 19, 1932May 23, 2021

Nancy Ann Atkin, 89, passed away peacefully in Arlington, VA on May 23, 2021 with family members by her side. She was born on April 19, 1932, in Milwaukee, WI. Nancy was the daughter of the late Frank and Amy Heider.

Nancy is preceded in death by her parents, brother Frank Heider Jr., her husband of 51 years Capt. Lawrence Carl Atkin USNR (ret), son Lawrence William, and twins Mary Ann and David John.

She is survived by four loving children, Terry Atkin Rowe, CDR Bob Atkin, USCG (ret) (Ann), RADM Tom Atkin, USCG (ret) (Tracy), and Tim Atkin (Steve); and five devoted grandchildren, Andi (JC), Bobby, Nathan, Levi and Joey. Nancy was extremely proud of her husband’s Navy service, and the public service of her four surviving children: Terry served as a staff member in the U.S. House of Representatives for 41 years, while her sons Bob, Tom and Tim all served in the U.S. Coast Guard.

Nancy was known for her sense of humor, her independence, and her caring nature. She was a member of the Kappa Delta sorority at Michigan State University where she met her future husband. She graduated with a Bachelor of Arts Degree in Psychology in December 1954 and the next year married ENS Larry Atkin, USNR. They moved to Virginia Beach, VA., where she welcomed Terry, her first of seven children. As a military spouse, she became accustomed to moving every three years and was adept at creating a loving home for her family at each post.

An avid bowler, Nancy and Larry teamed up to become bowling champions in numerous leagues and tournaments. She also enjoyed playing bridge, painting, and crocheting. After her husband Larry retired from the Navy in Hawaii, they moved to Duncanville, TX. In Duncanville, she was an active member of Holy Spirit Catholic Church and volunteered at Charlton Methodist Memorial Hospital. After 35 years in Duncanville, and not long after Larry passed away and was buried in Arlington National Cemetery, she relocated to Arlington, VA., where she lived at The Jefferson. Nancy was so proud to have her paintings and her crochet work exhibited at The Jefferson on more than one occasion. She crocheted and donated hundreds of lap-throws to children at The Children’s Inn at NIH, and to wounded warriors at Walter Reed National Military Medical Center.

While stationed at Barbers Point Naval Air Station for Larry’s final tour in the Navy, Nancy fell in love with Hawaii. She and her husband made regular visits back for over a decade. She celebrated her 89th birthday with family, adorned in Hawaiian leis. She was an avid supporter of the Coast Guard Academy Alumni Association, the Military Officer Association of America (MOAA) and The Children’s Inn at NIH.

Nancy will be buried with her husband at Arlington National Cemetery at a date to be determined.

The family asks that, in lieu of flowers, donations be made in Nancy's memory to one her favorite charities:


No public services are scheduled at this time. Receive a notification when services are updated.


Nancy Ann Atkin

have a memory or condolence to add?

Cathy Ordemann

June 10, 2021

My deepest sympathies for the loss of your mom. May many happy memories of times together bring you comfort and peace. Sincerely, Cathy Araki-Ordemann

Andrea Rand

June 1, 2021

I so enjoyed visiting with Nancy. We would talk about how we both enjoyed Hawaii and our families Coast Guard service. I will miss these visits.

Scot Graham

May 31, 2021

Terry, Bob, Tom, Tim and extended family - Theresse and I are so very sorry for your loss. God Bless. V/R Scot Graham