B.R. Atkinson

September 16, 1926September 11, 2017

B.R. (Dick) Atkinson, retired vice president of community affairs for Nestle USA and Stouffer’s, was a veteran of 42 years in the public relations field in Cleveland, New York City and Chicago. Born in Lakewood, Ohio (9-16-26), Atkinson graduated from Lakewood H.S. and Ohio University’s School of Journalism. He was a veteran of World War II where he was a signalman on a Navy minesweeper in the Pacific Theater. Atkinson began his career on the former Cleveland (Ohio) News as a reporter in 1950. He entered the public relations field in 1952 with Ohio Power Company in Canton, Ohio, and he was promoted and transferred to the parent company, American Electric Power, in New York City in 1954. He returned to Cleveland in 1957 as a public relations representative for Republic Steel Corporation where he covered the Central Alloy District (Canton and Massillon) and Chicago. In 1971, he joined The Stouffer Corporation in the company’s Solon, Ohio, headquarters, as director of public relations. He was promoted to vice president of community affairs for Stouffer’s and Nestle USA in 1988 where he retired in 1992. Active for many years in many community organizations, he was a member of the city of Cleveland’s Mayor’s Public Relations Committee, Greater Cleveland Growth Association’s Legislative Affairs Committee, Ohio and the U.S. Chambers of Commerce, Solon Chamber of Commerce where he served as president in 1976, American Red Cross, American Cancer Society, American Heart Association, Hattie Larlham Foundation, March of Dimes, Sigma Delta Chi journalism fraternity, Beta Theta Pi fraternity, Public Relations Society of America, Chargrin Valley Athletic Club, Tanglewood Country Club, Chagrin Valley and the Fripp Island (South Carolina) Beach Club. For 15 years, he sang in the Chagrin Falls United Methodist Church Choir and the Chargrin Valley Choral Union. He and his wife moved to Fripp Island, South Carolina in 1992 where he was a member of the Sea Rescue Unit, and on the boards of the Fripp Property Owners Association and the Fripp Community Centre. He served as co-editor of the Fripp Island “Traveler” newspaper. He also sang in the Fripp Island Chapel Choir for 10 years. Survivors include his wife, the former Nan McDermott to whom he had been married since 9-13-52; five sons, Richard Alan of North Carolina (Deceased, 2005), Bradley Gleason of Indianapolis, Thomas Bayton of Solon, Ohio, Timothy William of Kensington, Maryland and Ben William of Highland Mills, New York; fourteen grandchildren; and seven great-grandchildren. A memorial service will be held on Saturday, September 16 at 11am at Nelsen Funeral Home, 3785 Strawberry Plains Rd., Williamsburg, VA. Inurnment will be held at a later date at Arlington National Cemetery. Online condolences may be offered at


  • Memorial Service Saturday, September 16, 2017

B.R. Atkinson

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Karen Wheaton

October 6, 2017

Dear Nan, Bill and Family,

I am so very sorry for your loss. My sympathy and prayers are with you and your family.


Steve Santner

September 16, 2017

I would like to express my condolences to you and your family. I will miss his barbs regarding my old age:DOB 11-3-1916.
Steve Santner

September 15, 2017


We are thinking of and praying for you, your Mom and the rest of your family. We are so sorry for your loss.

With much affection,
Andrea and Seamus

Connie Scott

September 14, 2017

Dear Nan,
My sympathy to you and your family on your loss. May God comfort you at this time.

Your friend and neighbor from Sugarbush Lane,

Anne and Dennis Sullivan

September 14, 2017

Thinking of all the Atkinson family. We have many fond memories of Dick. Sending hugs to you, Nan. Love, Anne and Dennis

Todd Zucker

September 14, 2017

Bill and family - you are in our thoughts and prayers. So sorry for your loss.

Todd and Christine Zucker

Bob & Brenda Kunkel

September 13, 2017

Dear Nan:
We are so sorry to hear about Dick's passing.
Many fond memories of life on Sugarbush. Love and blessings to you at this difficult time.

Wayne & Donna Doberstyn

September 13, 2017

Our thoughts and prayers are with you in your time of grief. May your memories bring you comfort.

Barney Shirreffs

September 13, 2017

Dear Atkinson Family - your home on Sutherland was like a second home to me and your Mom and Dad always treated me like one of the family. What an amazing, long life your Dad led! I can't be with you at the memorial service but will keep your entire family in my prayers.

Lew/Bobbie Wheeler

September 13, 2017

Dear Nan and family,
Please accept our deepest sympathy
on Dick's passing.
Lew and Bobbie Wheeler