William R. “Bill” Atkinson, 82, died Sunday, Jan. 5, 2014, at Southwest Medical Center, in Liberal, Kan.
He was born Feb. 25, 1931, at Ellsworth, Kan., the son of Charles R. “Hogan” and Kathleen (Storey) Atkinson, of Burdick, Kan.
He married Lynn Burton on Dec. 15, 1956, in Wichita. She preceded him in death
He graduated from Diamond Valley High School in 1950 in Burdick and graduated from the University of Kansas with a degree in Geology in 1954.
After graduating from KU, he worked as a geologist at the Kansas Geological Survey in Lawrence from 1954 to 55, as a petroleum geologist for Colorado Oil and Gas in Liberal from 1955 to 1961 and as an independent petroleum geologist in Liberal from 1961 until he retired in the early 1990s. He served as the Southwest Kansas Area President for the Kansas Independent Oil and Gas Association during the late 1960s.
He grew up hunting and fishing and helping his dad, uncles and grandfather run cattle in the tall grass prairie of the Flint Hills surrounding Burdick. He lead his basketball and baseball teams to many victories while in high school. An oil well was drilled on the family property during his senior year in high school, sparking his lifelong love of geology.
He was a member of the First United Methodist Church and Lambda Chi Alpha Fraternity.
He was an avid outdoors man all his life. He enjoyed playing golf, shooting trap and targets, hunting, fishing and photography. He and Lynn loved to attend Redskin football games and they watched KU basketball on TV whenever the chance arose.
He worked hard and did everything he did to his fullest. He enjoyed people and he had a smile for everyone. He will be dearly missed.
He is survived by two sons, Brad Atkinson and wife, Pam, Apex, N.C., Mike Atkinson, Liberal; two grandchildren, Blake and Elise Atkinson, Apex, N.C.; and one sister, Jeanne Boyd, Longmont, Colo.
He was preceded in death by his parents.
• Memorial service will be at 10 a.m. Monday at the First United Methodist Church in Liberal with Rev. David Randall presiding.
Cremation has taken place.
In lieu of flowers and plants, memorials are suggested to the American Diabetes Association or to the W.R. Atkinson Memorial Fund in care of Brenneman Funeral Home 1212 W. 2nd Liberal, KS.
Condolences also may be sent to the family at www.brennemanfuneralhome.com