Nathaniel B. Atwater Sr.

January 26, 1936February 11, 2021

Nathaniel Bartlett Atwater Sr. age 85, of Little Compton, Rhode Island died on February 11, 2021.

He was born on January 26, 1936, to David Hay Atwater and Eleanor Bartlett Atwater in Tiverton, Rhode Island.

Atwater attended Brown University where he earned BA and MA degrees. Later he earned a PhD in Medieval Literature from Exeter University in Exeter, England. He taught English at U Mass Dartmouth and retired in 1991.

He married Bertha Hekma Wierda and they had two children, Dora and Nate. After his retirement he enjoyed working in his vegetable garden, Indian artifact hunting and fishing from his dory. He served two terms as the President of the Little Compton Historical Society.

Atwater is survived by his wife, daughter, son, sister, Sally Ann, son-in-law Dudley Millikin, daughter-in-law Heather Hild Atwater, two grandsons, Nathaniel and Herbert and many nieces and nephews.

A celebration of life and internment will be private. In Lieu of flowers donations may be made to: The Little Compton Historical Society P.O. Box 577, Little Compton, RI 02837. To leave a note of condolence,


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


Nathaniel B. Atwater Sr.

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hank coleman

February 14, 2021

Attended Roger William late 1960's. Classes held second floor of YMCA building in Providence. He lit up dreary classrooms with enthusiasm for Canterbury Tales and living in Little Compton. He was a mentor. To this day I love the classics, history, working my gardens and periodic trips to Little Compton. With sympathy, Hank Coleman

Margot Cottrell

February 13, 2021

Dear Dora,
On behalf of all the Cottrell family we send our love & many condolences to you and your family for the loss of your Dad.
He was a prince among men and a significant oarsman.
Little Compton will miss the sight of him out on the water...
but the vision will long live in our hearts and minds
Margot & Tom Cottrell