Gil Atkinson passed away peacefully in his sleep at his home in Berkeley, California, after a long battle with colon cancer. He was 80.
The son of Douglas Gordon Atkinson and Ruth Porter Atkinson, Gil was born at Alta Bates Hospital. He was proud that his entire education was completed in Berkeley, where he attended John Muir Grammar School, where he later served as a Playground Director; Willard Junior High, and Berkeley High School, where he wrote for The Jacket and had his own column, "Bottom of the Barrel." An alumni of the University of California, Berkeley, he was a rabid Bear Backer and a season ticket holder of both basketball and football seats throughout his life.
After graduating from Cal, Gil joined his father at Dean Witter, on the San Francisco Stock Exchange. In 1959, he met his loving wife of almost 53 years, Pamela Havner, marrying her on August 27, 1960. Shortly thereafter, he became a partner at Witter and was sent to New York to run floor operations on the American Stock Exchange. Gil and Pam settled in Connecticut, where daughter Carolyn Ruth (Lyn) was born on July 5, 1961, and son Douglas (Scott) was born on June 22, 1965.
In 1973, Gil left Dean Witter and returned to Berkeley with his family. He joined the newly formed Pacific Exchange Options trading floor as a charter member in 1976, serving as an independent floor broker for 20 years. Upon his retirement, he particularly enjoyed being a doting Grandfather to Scott' s children Mia Elizabeth and Ellen Marie, and enfolding daughter-in-law Maria and son-in-law Lee into the family. He loved taking everyone to Disneyland, a tradition that he started with his daughter when she was 4, and one that he continued up until the final years of his life.
Gil and Pam honeymooned at Lake Tahoe; each year for more than 20 years, Gil took his family on vacation to the same location where he and Pam first celebrated their marriage, and where they typically celebrated their anniversary together as a family.
Known for his quick, dry wit, Gil was generous, loyal, and while not overtly demonstrative, deeply loving. He enjoyed movies from Hollywood's Golden Age, Bay Area spots such as Fenton's, Trader Vic's, the Poodle Dog, See's candies, and especially Genova Delicatessen. He loved cars, airplanes, and dogs, owning a succession of English Springer Spaniels throughout his life. He was an assistant coach for girls' softball at Bishop O'Dowd High School for 15 years. He enjoyed musical theater and American history, and included his family in these passions, bringing them to the theater throughout their lives, and by visiting virtually every battlefield or historic location during their time on the East Coast. He embraced life-long friendships, his grandchildren's extra-curricular activities, and the patient, loving care provided by his wife Pam.
A celebration of Gil's life is planned for Saturday, May 11, 2013 at the Womens' Faculty Club at the University of California at Berkeley from 12 pm to 4 pm. For more information, please click the Announcements tab or email GilMemorial@yahoo.com.
We will all miss him tremendously, but are united in joy that he is at peace.
Please share your memories of your time with Gil here by clicking "Memorial Wall" to enter your notes. Thank you.