Alfonso Atkins, affectionately known as “Man” or “Cheese”, was born to Ernest Willie Atkins and Mamie Gardner Atkins on April 13, 1948 in Brooklyn, New York. Cheese graduated from the original Boys High School on Marcy Avenue.
Upon graduating from high school, Cheese took on employment with the Mayor’s Task Force for Youth under Mayor John Lindsay. Following the term of Mayor Lindsay and the completion of the program, Cheese gained employment with OTB. When OTB closed, Cheese became employed by New York City Transit Authority as a maintenance technician. Once in Transit, Cheese was promoted to the token booth, and from there to a Revenue Agent securing the Armored Truck, and from this, he retired from Transit with all benefits at the age of 50. After retirement, he became a driver for Access-A-Ride until his desire for more leisure time became his priority.
Growing up, Cheese was an original “OG.” In his youth, he was a member of the “Hustlers Club” from the Farragut Projects which paired with the sister club, the “Epicurean Debs”, short for Debutants.
Alphonso was named Cheese by his childhood friend “Beans” (Ronald Washington). Beans named him this because he grinned all the time with a full and welcoming smile.
On Saturday, March 3, 2018, Cheese departed this life. Though predeceased by his only daughter Cheezelle Atkins (called “Mumsy”) in 2017; his father Ernest Atkins; three brothers: Charlie (“Butch”), Ernest, Jr. and Terence; and two sisters: Sissy and Evelyn (“Doggy”); he leaves to cherish his memory, his loving and supportive fiancée Ramona Kirk; his mother Mamie Atkins; his son Michael (“Poppi”); two grandsons by Mumsy: Alphoso James White (“A.J.”) and James Raymond White (“J.R.”); two grandsons and a granddaughter by Michael: Marquis and Chase, and Shanyah; his son-in-law James White, Sr.; one brother Roger Atkins (and his wife Madeline); one sister Denise Hamer (and her husband Glenn); and a host of nieces, nephews, cousins, other relatives, and a multitude of loved ones.