Roger Alan AtkinsonApr 12, 2023 03:32PM ● By Anna Pro
Roger Alan Atkinson, age 74, went to be with Jesus March 7, 2023, at his home in Sandy, Utah. We were the lucky ones who got to claim him as Sweetheart, Dad, Grandpa, and Great Grandpa. Roger was born on Mothers’ Day, May 9, 1948, in Malad, Idaho, to David Roderick and Mary White Atkinson. He grew up in Samaria, Idaho, where he spent his childhood playing with his friends, riding horses, hunting, fishing, and swimming; graduated with the Malad class of 1966.
He enjoyed working for famers, hauling hay, where he learned to drive. He loved repairing cars. He worked at the Ford garage in Malad. His pride and joy was his cherry-red 1969 Ford Mustang Mach 1 that he saved up for and ordered brand new. He drove it in the Samaria July 4th parade the same year he won first place in the beard growing contest.
He met his future wife when he was almost 17. She chased him until he caught her! They were married on July 21, 1972. They have had a good life. He and VerLayne have enjoyed going on vacations with the kids. They square danced for several years, and had great fun traveling to dances and making new friends.
Roger was a mountain man for several years with his brother, Arthur. He bought a black powder rifle kit and assembled his rifle himself. He attended rendezvous at various places. In 1989 Roger, VerLayne, and family began attending Mount Calvary Assembly of God church in Taylorsville, Utah. Roger attended a men’s retreat in Glorietta, New Mexico. It was there he asked Jesus into his heart. This decision changed his life, he was never the same. He volunteered to be a Royal Ranger Commander, in which he worked with the young boys in our church, teaching them the word of God and taking them camping, etc. He especially enjoyed winter campouts. He was known to some people as “Brother Big Guy”. He previously had been a Boy Scout leader. Roger was a Deacon at Mount Calvary and was on the church board for many years. He was also the sound man for the church. For the last ten years he has attended Central Church of the Nazarene, helping with the food ministry.
Roger loved turquoise jewelry. His wish was for each grandchild to have one of his rings. He loved the outdoors and was a great Dutch Oven cook. He and his son, Frank, enjoyed rafting trips down the Green and Colorado Rivers. They enjoyed riding the smooth rocks near Moab on their mountain bikes. His Claim to fame was his handlebar mustache. His family was used to it, but everywhere else he went he caused quite a stir. Many people wanted to take his picture.
He enjoyed seeing plays at the Hale Center Theater. He loved spicy foods, and put Cholula on everything. He was known for making a great chile verde for his family. He was loved by his family and all who knew him. He retired after 33 years of working as a mechanic. We could always go to him and ask a question about our cars, and he would be able to give ideas on what to check for. He was trusted for his skills and honesty. We could go to him and ask him a question about how to fix any thing or do a task that we were not quite sure about. He would think about it and give us an answer that we would never have thought of. He has helped with repairs at each of his kids homes, sometimes just small things. He learned how to do things by asking questions or just trying, and then passed those skills on to his kids. He made it look so easy that we would think we could do it ourselves.
He is survived by his wife, VerLayne: daughter, Mindy (Roy) Evenson: daughter; Heidi (Jeremy) Johnston; son; R. Frank (Sara) Atkinson; daughter; Marcy (Christopher) Atkinson-Flahaut. Grandchildren Erika (Brandon), Dylan, Dakota, Hailey, Roderick, Grace, Kohen and Keaton. Great Grandchildren Tony and Ryker. Sisters-in-law Georgia Atkinson and Doris Atkinson Collett.
Preceded in death by parents, brothers; David Sheldon, Clarence, Arthur Atkinson; sister Ivy Jean East.
Thanks to all those who have prayed, sent cards, brought food, flowers, and loved us. Thanks to Sandy City Firefighters, that would come over at all hours of the day and night and pick him up off the floor. Thanks, also to Rocky Mountain Hospice for caring for Roger.
Cremation provided by Goff Mortuary. Celebration of life will be at a later date. Samaria has always been in his heart and it will be his final resting place.