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Robert "Bob" M. Atkins

March 28, 1953 ~ February 28, 2024 (age 70) 70 Years Old
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Robert "Bob" Atkins Obituary

~Robert “Bob’” Atkins~

“Strong Wolf”


God, grant us the serenity to accept the things we cannot change, the courage to change the things we can and the wisdom to know the difference.

Robert Michael Atkins, affectionately known as “Bob” or “Chicago Bob” was born on March 28, 1953 in Chicago, Illinois to Howard and Naomi Atkins.  He was the oldest of three children, His father, Howard, his mother Naomi and his brother, Jeffrey preceded him in death.

Bob attended Mather High School and graduated in 1971. Bob entered the Air Force in May 1973 and achieved the rank of Sargent until he was honorably discharged in 1976. He received his AA in Human Services- Alcohol, Substance Abuse and Addictive Disorders in 2008.

Bob struggled with drugs for years until 1997 when he was desperate to stop using and went to see Dr Thomas Chorba. Dr. Chorba told him to go to a Narcotics Anonymous (NA) meeting. Bob credits NA with saving his life and he worked the steps of recovery with his first sponsor Timmy N until he met John Lawlor in 1997 who would become his sponsor for the next 24 years until John’s death in 2020.  The loss of John hit Bob hard because they were like brothers but after much prayer and meditation Bob chose his current sponsor Jaime B.

Bob found the Red Road as part of his recovery in 1997 and he has been a Sundancer since 2009. His Lakota name was Shunk Manitou Tunka Wasag which means “Strong Wolf.  Bob built and hosted a monthly Inipi ceremony aka sweat lodge every month at his home in Gurnee. He traveled to Native American Sundance’s across the country and for the last 3 years has been a loyal Sundancer at the Sundance in West Virginia.

Bob and Francine married in 2001. They bought a home in August 2001 in Gurnee and together rescued, fostered and adopted out hundreds of dogs and cats. They shared a mutual love for animals and created a home that welcomed all people and animals. Bob truly believed that Mitákuye Oyás'iŋ from the Lakota phrase “We Are All Related”.

Bob leaves to cherish his memory, his wife, Francine Atkins; his sister, Debra Hicks (Russell). Brothers-in-law, William and Thomas (Timeana); sisters-in-law, Cheryl Anderson (Nate) and Fatimah Hassan/Ollie Jones (Ali); nephews, Nathan Anderson, Travis Atkins and Brandon Atkins and Daniel Ferrell. Nieces, Lisa Hudson (Dana), Saeedah Abitalib (Jamon), Jameila Anderson, Yariahni Washington and Anais Anderson-Tate; Tomicka Anderson, Angela Phillips (Aric), Bonita Jones and a host of cousins and friends. 

Bob donated his body to the Anatomical Gift Association of Illinois. A Celebration of Life service will coincide with his Sobriety Date, and take place on Saturday, April 27, 2024, from 4pm-9pm, at the Gurnee American Legion Post #771, 749 Milwaukee Avenue, Gurnee, IL. There will be an Air Force Military Funeral Honors Ceremony at 6pm. Interment is private. Arrangements entrusted to Sambrano Funeral & Cremation, Gurnee, IL. Please sign the online guestbook at LauraSambranoFunerals.com; 847-571-7719.

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Celebration of Life Visitation
April 27, 2024

4:00 PM to 9:00 PM
Gurnee American Legion
749 Milwaukee Avenue
Gurne, IL 60031
Guaranteed delivery before the Celebration of Life Visitation begins

Military Funeral Honors
April 27, 2024

6:00 PM
Gurnee American Legion
749 Milwaukee Avenue
Gurne, IL 60031
Guaranteed delivery before the Military Funeral Honors begins

Private Interment


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