Cover photo for Kenneth Atkinson's Obituary
Kenneth Atkinson Profile Photo

Kenneth Atkinson

d. March 21, 2024

Linden, NJ

On March 21, 2024, Kenneth transitioned from this earth-bound life to everlasting eternal life in Glory, at the age of 65.

KENNETH ATKINSON was born on October 12, 1958 at Margaret Hague Maternity Hospital in Jersey City, New Jersey to George and the Late Evangelist-Deaconess Ernestine Atkinson. He was the second child, and only son, of three children: Ella (deceased) and Vera.

Kenneth accepted Christ at an early age, having been baptized under the pastorate of the late Rev. John Shealey at the Ocean Avenue Baptist Church in Jersey

City. It is there he attended Sunday School and was active in the Youth group.

Kenneth was educated in the Jersey City public school system where he graduated from James F. Murray Elementary School #38 in 1972. He would then be

recruited by A Better Chance, the preeminent national

resource for identifying and developing leaders among young people of color who are capable of assuming positions of responsibility and leadership in

American society. Through this program Kenneth would go on to attend Dover High School in Dover, New Hampshire. He graduated in 1976, and subsequently returned to Jersey City where he obtained a Bachelor of Arts degree from Saint Peter’s University (1976-1980). 

Saint Peter’s use of cooperative education in its curriculum would provide Kenneth with the opportunity to cultivate a long standing career at the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development “HUD”.

In 1978, he was hired as an intern by Diane Johnson, HUD’s Regional Director. HUD’s mission is working to strengthen the housing market to bolster the

economy and protect consumers; meet the need for quality affordable rental homes; utilize housing as a platform for improving quality of life while building

inclusive and sustainable communities free from discrimination. Upon completion of his internship, Kenneth was hired as a Public Housing Revitalization

Specialist. He was responsible for monitoring and advising various housing authorities throughout the state of New Jersey including Linden, Jersey City, East

Orange, and Paterson to name a few. Coworkers described him as impartial, sincere, and helpful to all. He received nothing less than outstanding ratings (a

perfect rating) every annual evaluation. Furthermore management would continue to commend Kenneth for his high level of work experience, excellent

program knowledge and overall skill and competence. Kenneth was truly an exemplary employee.

Kenneth’s marriage (1989-2003) to fellow HUD employee Cynthia Jefferson welcomed two children; a daughter Charris Jamillah and a son, Collin George.

They once resided in Jersey City and would later establish a permanent residence in Linden, NJ. Most of his greatest joy came from being a husband and a

father. He was an active and dependable presence in their lives. And after 43 years of dedicated service to the U.S. federal government he would go on to enjoy

his much deserved retirement in September 2021.

Kenneth didn’t drive or own a car, preferring instead to walk, take the train, or even Uber, but he never let that keep him from accomplishing ALL he wanted and

needed to do and living his life to the fullest. Annual vacations with the family, for example, were a common occurrence.

Kenneth appreciated having more time to pursue his many interests. As an avid newspaper reader he liked to hold a physical newspaper and so he had the

Sunday Star Ledger and New York Times delivered every week. He loved watching any and all sports with a particular affinity for the Knicks, Notre Dame, and

the Yankees. Furthermore, Kenneth was known to enjoy a good musical or play and frequently sought to expand his culinary palate by visiting diverse

restaurants with his best friends. Kenneth was a peaceable, gentle giant, open to reason, impartial and sincere; willing to be patient, and willing to go the extra mile for anyone! It has been said, by many, “that there will never be another Kenneth Atkinson!” He remained a steadfast friend and confidant, a loyal son and brother, and a cherished  father until his final moments. 

And that is why, though Kenneth will be dearly missed, he has without a doubt left many meaningful and happy memories for all those who knew and loved him.

Kenneth is preceded in death by his mother, Ernestine Atkinson; sister, Ella Mattison; uncle, Carl May; and former wife of 14 years, Cynthia Jefferson-Atkinson;

former brothers in law, David, Brent, and Butch Jefferson; and sister-in-law Belinda Jefferson.

He leaves to cherish his memory: his children Charris and Collin; father George; aunts: Leola Schultz, Philadelphia, PA; Annie Atkinson, Irvington, NJ; and Thomasena May, Charlotte, NC; sister-in-law, Diane brothers-in-law, Jesse; nieces: Monique Nicole (Jamon), Erica (Glenn); nephew, Jarell, grand

nephews and grand nieces, cousins; long-time best friends Kelly Paterson, Fatima Holder, Diane Johnson;

the HUD office (Newark, NJ) and many, many, many more family members and friends.

Funeral Services for Kenneth will be held at the Ocean Avenue Baptist Church, 735 Ocean Ave. Jersey City on Wednesday April 3, with a viewing from 10am to 11am, followed by a Funeral Service at 11am. Interment will follow at Bayview-New York Bay Cemetery in Jersey City. Arrangements are in the care of the Galante Funeral Home in Union.

A zoom livestream will be available to view on Wednesday April 3rd beginning at 10:30AM . Personal Meeting ID 997 533 3817 Password: 2800
To order memorial trees or send flowers to the family in memory of Kenneth Atkinson, please visit our flower store.

Service Schedule

Past Services


Wednesday, April 3, 2024

10:00 - 11:00 am

Ocean Avenue Baptist Church

735 Ocean Ave, Jersey City, NJ 07305

Enter your phone number above to have directions sent via text. Standard text messaging rates apply.

Funeral Service

Wednesday, April 3, 2024

11:00am - 2:00 pm

Ocean Avenue Baptist Church

735 Ocean Ave, Jersey City, NJ 07305

Enter your phone number above to have directions sent via text. Standard text messaging rates apply.


Wednesday, April 3, 2024

2:30 - 3:00 pm

Bay View - New York Bay Cemetery

Cator Ave, Jersey City, NJ 07305

Enter your phone number above to have directions sent via text. Standard text messaging rates apply.


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