David Harold Atkinson, 73, passed away Tuesday, November 3, 2020.
David was born in Austin but he and his family quickly moved to Brenham, where his dad became coach, dean, and president of Blinn College.
David was an athlete early on, playing all sports at Brenham High School. In his freshman year at Blinn College he played football. David then transferred to Stephen F. Austin University in Nacogdoches, receiving a BBA in 1970. He loved his years there as he lettered playing football for the Lumberjacks.
He stayed on at SFA as a graduate assistant. David’s tenure as a student-athlete and coach covered seven years. In 2009, he was granted entry into the Jacks of Honor at SFA. He was one of the founding members of the Letterman’s Association (now known as the J Association). David enjoyed his longtime membership on this board. He loved being in the Piney Woods.
After college David went to Austin as an assistant to the Governor of Texas, working closely with Speaker of House Gus Mutscher. Continuing in public service, he went to work for the Employee’s Retirement System of Texas. There he implemented and was Director of the Insurance Program for State Employees. Continuing his studies in Austin, he received an MBA from St. Edwards University. His time at ERS gave him a love for the health care industry where he continued in many capacities, culminating in his position as Director of TIOPA, an independent, physician-owned IPA. He remained there for 17 years until his retirement.
David’s favorite passion was his children and grandchildren. Being blessed with two precious children later in life, he doted on them through their school years, including many stints as coach for both Seth and Sarah. This love of coaching continued as Seth attended Trinity Christian Academy. David coached football and baseball and continued to volunteer coach following Seth’s graduation. He was honored at their athletic banquet in 2014 with the Soaring Eagle Award for his long and appreciated service. He loved his players.
David was a loving husband, father, PePaw, brother-in-law, uncle and friend. He was wise and often quiet at home. However, on the ball field he could be loud and motivate in a witty manner! He was always principled and faithful to do the right thing. He loved his Savior.
He was preceded in death by his brother, James Atkinson; and his parents, James Harold and Katherine Atkinson.
David is survived by his wife of 43 years, Caren; his son, Seth and his family, Tess, Ryan, Cooper, and Ainsley; his daughter, Sarah Knox and her family, Kevin and Camdyn; sister, Gene Katzberg and her husband, Alan; his sister-in-law, Carole; sister-in-law, Betty Conlee Richter; brother-in-law, Craig Conlee and his wife, Carol; and three nephews and six nieces.
The funeral service will be at 11 a.m. Friday, November 13, 2020 at Trinity Bible Church, 4936 I-20 East Service Road South, Willow Park. Visitation will be from 10-11 a.m. prior to the service.
Interment: will be at 11:30 a.m. Saturday at Bryan City Cemetery, Bryan, Texas.
In lieu of flowers, please consider a donation to the J Association, SFA Box 6092, Nacogdoches, TX 75962; or the charity of your choice.
The Community News
November 13, 2020