Timothy Francis Atkins died peacefully at Cape Cod Hospital in Hyannis on Nov. 21, 2022 with his wife, Christine, at his side. He had been hospitalized two weeks earlier, and “we both had time to talk,” Christine said. The cause of death, she said, was liver failure. He was 73.
Tim was born in Provincetown to the late Eva (Weed) Atkins and Samuel K. Atkins on Feb. 16, 1949. When he was young, his brother would take him to Outer Cape beaches in his Jeep to fish for striped bass. On one such excursion at night, they saw the northern lights, an awe-inspiring experience that Tim never forgot.
At Provincetown High School, Tim was in the vocational track. His ambition was to be a mechanic like his brother, who worked as a mechanic for the town. After Tim graduated in 1968, however, he was drawn to a series of jobs that led to his career as a filleter of fish.
He was known as Weed, which was his mother’s maiden name. While he was still in high school, he worked for George Colley on the Provincetown pier. Through a cousin, he met Christine Adams, whom he married in 1971. He was devoted to their life together for the next 51 years.
Soon after his marriage, Tim worked with his brother LeRoy as a typesetter in LeRoy’s printing business. They printed invitations, flyers, and the like — often producing pieces free of charge for the Masons because LeRoy was a member. When the business went under, Tim worked as a collator for the Provincetown Advocate, putting each individual copy of the newspaper together by hand; then, he delivered them.
When he started working in the fish industry, Tim found his calling. He began by packing and delivering fish to hotels and restaurants, but once he learned how to fillet fish his skill led to a 30-plus-year career with Cape Tip Seafood.
In the early years of their marriage, he and Christine lived in Truro, before a rent-to-buy arrangement brought them to Wellfleet, where they lived for 30 years. When Tim retired in 2010, the couple moved to Yarmouth.
Tim loved restaurants, Christine said; “He loved to eat.” Before they married, she said, she told him, “When you marry me, I will make you something different every week. And I did.” Tim appreciated that, and he would always order something that Christine did not cook when they went out to eat.
“He knew,” she said, “that it would not be as good if he ordered something I cook.”
In retirement, Tim took up gardening; he built a raised garden and grew cucumbers, tomatoes, and an assortment of herbs.
He is survived his wife, Christine Atkins, of Yarmouth; by two nieces, Barbara Grandel of Wellfleet and Leslie Unruh of Auburn, Wash.; by a great-nephew, Anthony Grandel; by his sister-in-law, Grace Atkins, of Orleans; and by many cousins.
Tim was predeceased by his brothers, LeRoy and Kenneth Atkins.
At Tim’s request, there will be no funeral. Christine will spread his ashes at different places in and around Provincetown “where we had a good time,” she said.
In lieu of flowers, donations can be made to the Yarmouth or Provincetown fire departments.