Dr. Floyd Atkins
headshot of Dr. Floyd Atkins

Dr. Floyd Atkins

Floyd Atkins, medical assistant dean, dies

His nickname was "Chief," and he was always popular with patients, staff and peers across an 18-year career at the Lemuel Shattuck Hospital in Jamaica Plain. Dr. Floyd Atkins, associate professor of medicine and assistant dean of student affairs at Tufts School of Medicine, died on March 29 after a long illness.

Earlier this year, Atkins was honored by Lemuel Shattuck, which named its intensive care unit in his honor.

Atkins joined Lemuel Shattuck in 1984 and served as chief of cardiology until last year. His popularity was based on his lighthearted and considerate personality, according to those who knew and worked with him. "He was a very caring person and treated every patient with respect and dignity," said Brenda Blake, director of inpatient services. "He had this great ability to integrate laughter into everything and make work fun."

An avid tennis player, gardener and nature photographer, Atkins was a jazz connoisseur as well, with more than 200 jazz CDs in his personal collection. He also coached girls' basketball teams to a string of championships within the Catholic Youth Organization for the past 20 years. "We won more than 100 games and never finished worse than runners-up," Atkins said. "We did not rely on one or two players, but developed all the girls on the team."

Atkins is survived by his wife, Joyce (Biggs) Atkins; his son, Dr. G. Brandon Atkins; his mother, Edna Falls Atkins of Portsmouth, Va.; and his sister, Dr. Margery Atkins Scott of Virginia Beach, Va.

Funeral services will take place on Saturday, April 5, at 11 a.m. in the Parkway United Methodist Church, 158 Blue Hills Parkway, Milton, Mass. Calling hours will be on Friday, April 4, from 5 to 8 p.m. at the Holden, Dunnirvine and Lawler Funeral Home, 55 High Rock St. (off Route 109), in Westwood, Mass. Burial will take place in Virginia.

Instead of flowers, donations may be made in Dr. Atkins' name to the American Heart Association by calling 1-800-242-8721.