Long-time Chapter member Sid Atkin passes away at 84
Sidney Joseph Atkin, 84, died Aug 1, 2018 in St. George, after an eleven month flight into dementia. He was born July 26, 1934, in St. George, Utah to Rudger Clawson and Leona Cox Atkin, 4th of 7 children.
He had a happy youth, growing up at 67 N 300 E playing with boney animals in the dirt of the backyard and playing endless games of basketball with the neighborhood kids on the dirt court in the side yard. He had his own shoe shine stand in Ron Knell's barbershop and worked at the Atkin ranch on the Arizona Strip. He went to the only elementary school in town, and graduated from Woodward Jr High. He attended Dixie High when it was still housed with the college in the old Dixie College building. He played basketball, excelled at it, loved it. He could, and did, describe the plays of those games, and recite the scores.
After graduation in 1952, he lived for a year with his uncle and aunt Richard and Noma Bentley in Butte Montana, working at JC Penneys. He returned for a year at Dixie College where he had delightful adventures, and developed life-long friendships with a group who called themselves The Bunch - they designated a special holiday called Bean Day.
After his mission to Great Britain, Sid returned to Dixie College and graduated in 1958. Immediately after graduation, the day his first daughter came home from the hospital he, his dad, and brother Clayton bought the Sugar Loaf Cafe, and he went to work as manager. Later, he built a new Cafe and a Rodeway Inn across the street and with his brother Bruce, a Sugar Loaf Cafe and Rodeway Inn in Cedar City. When his brother Ralph started SkyWest airline, Sid went in with him along with their dad, brothers Lee and Clayton. With nephew Jerry as manager, SkyWest became a major success going from 9-seat Navajo Chieftains to a fleet of 70-passenger jets.
Sid learned to golf in Butte, and as President of the Chamber of Commerce, was influential in the development of Red Hills Golf course, introducing golf to St. George. He loved golf and was a member of Bloomington in it's beginning. He got his one and only hole-in-one on the 6th hole, playing with a group of friends, at Red Hills.
He was active in civic affairs and was a member of the Utah House of Representatives for 8 years, serving as majority Whip. He was on the Dixie College Board, the Hospital board, the State Parks board, and the Washington County Library Board. He was an active and devoted member of the church being called as bishop when just 28. He served on the high council, and was always a dedicated, caring Home Teacher.
Sid married Mary Ann Hunt, June 29, 1957 in the St. George temple. Sid and Mary Ann lived for a few years in an apartment at the Sugar Loaf, then raised their family in an old pioneer family home on 200 East, the one his father was born and raised in. In 1993, fulfilling a lifelong dream of Sid's, they moved to Pine Valley and spent summers there and winters at a condo in Bloomington where they lived through Sid's illness. Sid loved to travel, and did a lot of it - with family - with his business - with friends. The only continent he missed was Africa - the only states he missed were North Dakota and Alabama. He took his family on many wonderful vacations.
Sid Atkin was from Dixie - it was his home - he loved it - he was a major supporter of Dixie College - didn't miss a football or basketball game - donated toward it becoming Dixie State University. He loved the friends of his youth, and all those that came later - he loved class reunions - was excited each month to meet for a Class of '52 breakfast with classmates who had remained or come back to Dixie.
Sidney is survived by his wife of 61 years, Mary Ann, his eight children, Shauna and Nathan Dalton, Natalie and David Bean, Tracy and Bradford Ball, Maurice Atkin, Cory and Patience Atkin, Kelly and Brigit Atkin, Trevor and Tara Atkin, Jared and Kari Atkin. Funeral services were held Monday, August 6, 2018 at 11:00 a.m. at the Bloomington LDS 7th Ward Chapel, 3519 Manzanita Road, St. George, Utah.