Longtime Samford University English professor Ray Atchison of Homewood died May 28, 2013, of complications from a broken hip.  He was 91.

Dr. Atchison, who taught at Samford for 45 years, retired in 1992.

A 1943 Samford graduate, he held a master's degree in English from Peabody College (Vanderbilt University), and a Ph.D. in English from Duke University.

He served in Alaska with the U.S. Army during World War II. For a story in a 2005 issue of the Samford alumni magazine Seasons, Atchison recalled that he missed his Samford graduation due to Uncle Sam. The Shelby County, Alabama, native was among five seniors who were summoned to active military duty in March, 1943, halfway through their final semester. His mother attended the May graduation ceremony and picked up his diploma. "I suspect I was en route to the Aleutian Islands," he said in the article.

Atchison and his wife, the late Doris Teague Atchison, co-wrote a history of Dawson Memorial Baptist Church, where they were longtime members.

A private family burial service was held on June 2, 2013.

Survivors include his daughter, Faith Atchison Jansen, his son, Paul Atchison, their spouses, and four grandsons.


About Samford University – Samford University is a premier nationally ranked private university deeply rooted in its Christian mission. Founded in 1841, Samford is the 87th oldest institution of higher education in the United States. U.S. News & World Report ranks Samford 4th among regional universities in the South. Samford enrolls 5,619 students from 44 states, the District of Columbia and 29 other countries in its 10 academic units: arts, arts and sciences, business, divinity, education, health professions, law, nursing, pharmacy, and public health. Samford also fields 17 NCAA Division I teams that compete in the tradition-rich Southern Conference.