Obituary for Donald Atkinson

June 23, 2021
Donald Henry Atkinson of Pincher Creek, Alta., beloved husband of Cecilia Atkinson, passed away after a lengthy illness at Chinook Regional Hospital, Lethbridge, Alta., on June 13, 2021, at the age of 85.

Besides his loving wife, Cecilia, Don is survived by one son, Gord (Tracy) Atkinson, and two daughters, Melanie (Arnold) D’Souza and Stephanie Atkinson; grandchildren Michelle (Kevin), Brittany (Coty), Daniel, Shanah, Talia (Rob) and Alanna (Kain); great-grandchildren Kailey, Ty, Tommy, Leah, Brooke, Weston, Ryleigh, Eliza and Evelyn; and nieces Linda (Dave) and Peggy (Nick), and their families.

Don was predeceased by his parents, Harry and Marjory, brothers James and Lorne, and sister Margaret.

As a 17-year-old farm boy, born and raised in landlocked Saskatchewan, Don decided to join the Navy to see the world; after basic training in Cornwallis, N.S., his tours of duty on HMS New Glasgow, HMS Stettler and HMS Magnificent took him to Hawaii, the Suez Canal and many other ports of call. Later, after surviving three hurricanes, he reconsidered his choice and moved into the Marine Section of the Air Force.

Don met his wife, Cecilia, while posted in Comox, B.C., where Gord and Melanie were born. His next posting was to Gimli, Man.; after five years in Gimli, Don was transferred to the Army. The family was completed with the birth of Stephanie while they were posted in Toronto, and Don concluded his military career at the Army base in Lahr, Germany.

In retirement, Don returned to his roots when he and Cecilia bought a farm in Pine River, Man. When the children had all completed high school, Don and Cecilia moved to Winnipeg, where he became a commissionaire with the Department of Fisheries and Oceans. He spent his last 10 years in Pincher Creek, Alta., where he made many good friends over many cups of coffee.

Throughout all of his travels, he maintained an enduring interest in model railroading. He always looked forward to visits from his children, grandchildren and great-grandchildren, who loved to watch him make the trains go around, and share “afters” with him at the end of every meal.

Don was quick with a joke, laughed easily and often, and was a friend to all. He will be greatly missed.

A memorial service will be held at a later date.

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