Richard Lee Atkins

December 18, 1939 - November 19, 2020


Richard Lee Atkins, much loved husband, son, father, stepfather, grandfather, and brother passed away peacefully in his sleep at home the morning of Nov. 19, 2020 of heart-related issues. 

Dick was born Dec. 18, 1939 in Spencer, Iowa to Myrna R. and Glenn W. Atkins and joined brother, Tom, in forming the Atkins clan of four. The family soon moved to a home in Clear Lake, Iowa where Dick and Tom enjoyed summers waterskiing, swimming, and boating; winters ice skating, ice boating, and playing ice hockey in front of their lake home. 

Dick graduated from Clear Lake High School in 1957 and then attended Mason City Junior College and received his AA degree. He then enlisted in the Navy and became a radarman aboard the USS Coral Sea cruising on a WESTPAC tour to Japan. While in the Navy he met and married Susan Dahl and they had three children; Kimberly, Todd, and Mark.

Dick furthered his education at Pacific Lutheran University and Central Washington University. He received both his B.A. and M.A. in education from Central Washington University. 

He began his teaching career in Zillah, Washington from 1963-1964, and the rest of his teaching career was in Port Townsend from 1964-1994 where he taught grades 5, 6, and 7. A sports enthusiast, he also coached junior high basketball and high school football. He also made sure to give time and attention to his students as he had a big heart and strived to make everyone feel important. 

Dick and Susan parted ways, but both stayed in the area to see their children through their school years.

In 1980 Dick married Gloria Collins. Dick was the ring-leader of fun and their combined family of six children have many joyous memories of numerous adventures together including camping trips, fishing trips, school sports, family Christmas celebrations, and summer Sun Lakes vacations and, of course, music. Dick was always there to lend a helping hand with a smile and a song to any of his kids, friends, or community and will be greatly missed. 

Dick was a lover of jazz, honing his guitar skills and singing while playing the guitar in numerous gigs on the Olympic Peninsula. He was a ‘50s Rock & Roll master. His infectious smile and upbeat personality will not be forgotten. 

Dick is survived by his wife, Gloria; daughter Kimberly Snyder (Bill), son Todd Atkins (Denise), son Mark Atkins; stepchildren Chris Collins (Stephanie), Kelly Barlow, and Molly Hilt (Marc); grandchildren John Barlow, Nick Barlow, Jack Hilt, Ryan Atkins, Jacob Atkins, Emily Atkins, Allen Hilt, Kayla Atkins, Natalie Collins, and Olivia Snyder; brother Tom Atkins. 

We know Dick is still singing and playing guitar. A celebration of life will be held mid 2021 when it is safe to gather due to the current pandemic.