The funeral for Major James N. Atanasoff, 71, of Hartselle,Alabama, was Wednesday, September 17, 2008, at 7 p.m. at Peck Funeral Home Chapel with Father Joe Ramke officiating.
Burial was in Arlington National Cemetery in Arlington, Virginia, with full military honors, including pallbearers, horse drawn caisson, marching unit, band, firing party and bugler.
Major Atanasoff died Sunday, September 14, 2008, at his residence. He was born December 3, 1936, in New York to Nelson Atanasoff and Hilda Kobuski Atanasoff. A hobby farmer, he retired from the U.S. Army in 1975 after 20 years of military service. He enlisted in the Army as a Private in 1954 and was commissioned through the Officer Candidate School with the rank of a Second Lieutenant in 1965. As a commissioned infantry officer in the spring of 1966, he commanded the Special Forces A Team, 5th Special Forces Airborne Group in Vietnam and later served as operations officer for B Team Detachment Command. He served a second tour in Vietnam in 1969 and 1970 MACV. During his military career, he served at other duty stations including Germany, Alaska and Hawaii. He was preceded in death by his parents, his wife, Patricia Cryer Atanasoff and a brother-in-law, Joseph Coates.
He is survived by a son, James Nelson Atanasoff II and wife Judy of Joppa; a daughter, Jamie P. Gist and husband Keith of Moulton; four brothers, Arthur Atanasoff and wife Betty and John Atanasoff and wife Marilyn, both of Utica, N.Y., Burlin Atanasoff and wife Anne of Clarkes Summitt, Pennsylvania, and Mark Atanasoff and wife Marilyn of Goose Creek. South Carolina; three sisters, Catherine Leachfeldt and husband George of Pattersonville, New York, Margaret Coates of Chicago, Illinois, and Marianne Conte and husband Joseph of Oneida, New York; two grandsons, Alan Gist and wife Ashley of Town Creek and Kevin Gist of Moulton; and two great-grandchildren, Alexis Brook Gist and Kasson James Gist, both of Town Creek.
In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to the Special Forces Fund, American Cancer Society or to your favorite charity.
Michael Robert Patterson was born in Arlington and is the son of a former officer of the US Army. So it was no wonder that sooner or later his interests drew him to American history and especially to American military history. Many of his articles can be found on renowned portals like the New York Times, Washingtonpost or Wikipedia.
Reviewed by: Michael Howard