Harlin James Atkinson
Harlin J. Atkinson, age 90 of Willow City, passed away Wednesday, December 26, 2012, at his ranch. Funeral services will be held at 10:00 A.M. on Saturday, December 29, 2012 at the First Lutheran Church in Willow City. Burial will be at the Memorial Park Cemetery of Willow City in the spring. Visitation will be held on Friday beginning at 10:00 A.M. until 9:00 P.M. in the Nero Funeral Home in Bottineau.
Harlin James Atkinson was born June 19th, 1922 on a farm in Ostby Township near Willow City, a son of Robert Atkinson and Freeda (Liebelt) Atkinson. He attended the "Semler "country school for 8 years, and graduated from Willow City High School in 1940. On November 7, 1942 he enlisted in the United States Marine Corps. While at Camp Pendleton, Oceanside, California, he married Bernice Ruth Hanson on April 25th, 1943. While in the Marine Corps, he served in the South Pacific. On the way to Japan, he flew over the ship where the signing to end World War II was held. He then served with his unit in Occupied Japan. He was honorably discharged November 27th, 1945. He returned to North Dakota and began farming and ranching.
He and Bernice raised 4 children together. He was involved in many activities throughout his life. Harlin enjoyed breeding, training, and showing Appaloosa horses. He was a charter member and president of the Rough Rider's saddle club. He was past president of the North Dakota Appaloosa Horse Association and member of the Souris Valley Breeder's Association. Among the many trophies, awards and ribbons that line the arena on his ranch is the World's reserve champion reining horse award received at the World's Championship Competition held in Oklahoma City.
He also served on the Willow Creek Township water board and was a member of the American Legion and Presbyterian Church.
He is survived by his wife, Bernice Atkinson, daughter, Jacqueline Fecho (Loren), son, Brian Atkinson, (Jodi), son. Van Atkinson (Susie), daughter, Lisa Atkinson, 10 grandchildren, Renata Prellwitz (Gary), Brandon (Lori) and Blaine (Dawn) Fecho, Tyler (Krystall), Burton (Erica) Charles and Spencer (Miranda) Atkinson, Cole (Gretchen) and Casey Atkinson, Max Peterson and 16 great grandchildren. He was preceded in death by his parents and brother, Howard Atkinson.