Born on May 31, 1936 she was the daughter of Lad P. and Margaret (Cunningham) Sherwin. She was raised predominantly in Chicago’s South side, which remained the city of her heart.
In 1958 she graduated from the College of St. Teresa of Winona MN with a nursing degree and afterwards spent some time at the formation house of the Maryknoll Sisters before deciding her path lay outside the sisterhood. She obtained a Master’s of Science in Nursing from the University of Minnesota in 1960 and began her career at St Mary’s Hospital/Mayo Clinic in Rochester MN.
The wife of a grateful patient introduced Maureen to a nice young Army Captain, David Atkinson, who turned out to be the love of her life. The two were married in 1962. They settled in Stirling NJ and raised six children, supporting them in their various activities especially as 4-H leaders in the 1970s and 80s.
When her youngest child was old enough, Maureen returned to nursing working first with children at The Matheny School and Hospital in Peapack NJ, next the elders at Fellowship Village in Basking Ridge NJ and eventually with the stressed-out executives of AT&T in Newark NJ. Her longest service was in the Oncology Department of Overlook Hospital in Summit NJ, where she advocated for new policies on pain management for cancer patients. Her expertise there informed her own choices as she battled breast cancer over the last 30 years of her life with grace and determination.
Maureen and David retired and moved to Hackettstown where she enjoyed testing new recipes, and the frequent visits of her children and especially grandchildren who were the delight of her life.
Maureen’s Catholic faith was a cornerstone of her character. She and David were active members of St. Luke Parish in Long Valley for more than 20 years. The friendship of that parish family sustained her in the last year of her life.
Maureen was predeceased by her husband of 57 years Dr. David J. Atkinson. She is survived by her children Daniel J. and Penny (Crawford) Atkinson of Columbia City IN, Margaret E. Atkinson and Alec Muller of Brattleboro VT, John D. Atkinson of Panther Valley NJ, Thomas E. Atkinson of Cranford NJ, David P. Atkinson of West Orange NJ, Mark J. Atkinson and Hannah Warren of Abington MA, grandchildren Kelsey (Atkinson) Willingham and Megan Willingham of Chicago IL, Drew Atkinson of Seattle WA, Phelan D. Muller of Brattleboro, Liam Warren and Jackson Steele of Abington MA, two great grandchildren Rowan and Elizabeth, and many nieces and nephews.
In lieu of flowers the family requests donations to the Maryknoll Sisters PO Box 317, Maryknoll NY 10545.
A memorial visitation and service will be held at St. Luke Parish, 265 West Mill Street, Long Valley, NJ 07853, on Saturday,
January 18, 2020 from 1:00 - 1:30 pm, with Father Owen Moran officiating. Following services the family will gather in the Church Community Center for a repast.