Tom Atkins (Torch)
Tom Atkins, a.k.a. Torch, of Randolph, N.Y., passed away Monday June 7, 2021, at Olean General Hospital, surrounded by his family. He was 79.
Son of the late Gordon and Ruth Atkins, Tom was born July 10, 1941, in Cleveland, Ohio, and raised in Frewsburg, N.Y. He served in the U.S. Army from 1963-65 as a diesel mechanic and was deployed to Germany and the Netherlands, after which he re-turned home and built a house in Randolph, N.Y. where he lived the remainder of his life. Tom was an inventive and skilled mechanic and his career lasted more than four decades, the majority of which he worked for Ed Shults Chevrolet in James-town, retiring in 2011.
Well-liked and known for his sharp wit, Tom was outspoken, tough as nails and afraid of nothing. He loved going to the races, especially the Indy 500, working on fast cars, his vintage Chaparral snowmobile, pyrotechnics, Fish Camp and drinking Pabst Blue Ribbon. He owned several German shepherds throughout the years, often preferring their company to that of humans.
Tom could always be called on for an honest opinion, which he would gladly give. He will be deeply missed by many.
He is survived by two children: Amy (Rod) Adams of Jamestown, N.Y., and Dean Atkins of Randolph, N.Y.; two grandchildren, Alexis “A.J.” Adams of Buffalo, N.Y., and Alyssa Adams of Jamestown; a brother, Greg (Sue) Atkins of Greer, S.C.; a sister, Merle K. (Timothy) Marsh of Frewsburg; and several nieces and nephews.
Friends and family will be received from 6-8 p.m. on Friday, June 11, 2021, in the Peterson Funeral Home. To leave a condolence for Tom’s family, please visit www.petersonfh.net.