Atchison named to Senior Citizens Hall of Fame

Published 2:53 pm Wednesday, September 19, 2018


The list of activities and accolades for Columbiana resident Bonnie Atchison continues to grow.

Atchison, 86, has been inducted into the Alabama Senior Citizens Hall of Fame as a permanent member of the Class of 2018.

“It is truly an honor to recognize a group of seniors who have contributed so much to improving the lives of older Alabamians,” Alabama Department of Senior Services Acting Commissioner Todd Cotton wrote in a letter in the ceremony program. “The many achievements of the Hall of Fame Class of 2018 are truly remarkable. I offer my congratulations on their induction as permanent members to the Hall of Fame.”

In addition to working as an English, speech and drama teacher at Shelby County High School for 20 years, Atchison served as the director of the South Shelby Chamber of Commerce from 1993-2003, and as the curator for the Karl C. Harrison Museum of George Washington for 10 years.

She also served as president of the Alabama Federation of Women’s Clubs, a non-profit organization dedicated to community improvement. She’s been a member of the Novella Club since 1976.

An avid supporter of the arts, Atchison contributes to the Shelby County Arts Council and operates an outreach program covering Shelby County schools, homeschooled students, senior centers and juvenile detention centers.

“Outside of my regular job, everything I have done my whole life has been volunteer work,” she said. The statement is not an exaggeration.

Atchison has been a member of the Retired and Senior Volunteer Program, or RSVP, since 2014, and has logged more than 1,700 hours of volunteer work.

She received the Gold Presidential Volunteer Service Award, the Women in American Revolution History Award from the Daughters of the American Revolution, was honored by a House Resolution presented by Rep. Mike Hill and was presented with a Key to the City by former Columbiana Mayor Allan Lowe.

April 2, 2013 was even proclaimed “Bonnie Atchison Day” in Columbiana by current Mayor Stancil Handley, who called Atchison the “fairy godmother of Columbiana” when she was named grand marshal for the city’s Christmas parade in 2017.

She displays quilts for the Columbiana Quilt Walk in her home each year to benefit women’s and children’s charities and the annual Cancer Survivor Dinner.

Atchison has worked with SafeHouse, the American Legion and Chamber of Commerce Veterans Day program and contributes to causes including Backpack Buddies, a program that provides weekend meals for students in need.

Three other Shelby County residents received special awards at this year’s ceremony.

Pat and William A. Wyatt of Harpersville received the Advocacy Award, and Barry K. Blount of Pelham received the Military Service Award.

“I also offer my congratulations to the recipients of the Lifetime Achievement Commendation and Special awards,” Cotton wrote. “These awards honor their incredible ongoing commitment to serving our communities.”

Couples honored for being married 65 years or more included Lloyd and Anita Davenport of Alabaster and John E. and Beverly Horne of Alabaster.