Elgin Lionel Atkinson, loving and beloved husband, father, Papa, and friend, passed away in his
sleep after battling Alzheimer’s on July 28th, 2021 in Bremerton, Washington at the age of 88.
Lionel lived a beautiful, full life that centered on loving his best friend and true love Sharon, as
well as his many beloved children and grandchildren who he leaves behind. His life also
centered on simply just trying to do the best he could.
He reminded us that there are things and people in life that you take for granted and think are
normal because you’re used to them, but they’re anything but... because he was one of those
“I care” was something he would earnestly, softly say. He focused beyond himself to genuinely
care for anyone within the orbit of his life. He honored and respected those who could do
nothing for him, ignoring economic or power status, skin color, ability or disability, or similar. Like
a super-power, anybody who crossed his path - friend or stranger - was better for his presence,
because he’d look them in the eye, smile warmly, give a convincing and genuine hello, strike up
conversation. He was always quick to say “I love you” to his family, and we always felt how
much he meant it.
He was a dynamic inspiration to watch, possessing boundless energy and a spring in his step, a
can-do attitude, and chin-up positivity. The combination of these God-given gifts, his good heart,
and strength to make remarkable choices, helped lead him away from desperate poverty
growing up hard in rural Texas during the Great Depression. He was a confident but humble
person who knew his kindness and strength was a choice he was blessed to choose every day.
But the most special thing that inspired and taught those around him was the true love, “one in a
million” love story between him and his dear “Sherri.” Sharon was his first and last “forever” love,
beginning when he first saw her and was smitten as a young Marine, continuing when they were
reunited in their late 30’s, through to their recent 50th wedding anniversary. To say Lionel doted
on Sharon is an understatement. He never had eyes for another; he protected, cared for, and
cherished her. We know he is waiting for her and they will be together again.
A viewing will be held Thursday, September 9th, 2021 from 3:00 PM to 7:00 PM, at Edline-Yahn
& Covington Funeral Chapel, 27221 156th Ave. SE, Kent, Washington. Burial will include
Military Honors Friday, September 10, 2021 at 10:00 AM, at Tahoma National Cemetery, 18600
SE 240th St Kent, Washington. All are welcome to attend both.
Simple flowers or even a card are welcome though not necessary. Lionel would simply exhort
you to go do good in his behalf. Whether it’s spending more time with and caring for your loved
ones, stopping a bad habit, or finding the will and courage to be strong, he’d look you in the eye
and convincingly say “You’ve got this.” And he was right.
To send flowers to the family or plant a tree in memory of Elgin Lionel Atkinson, please visit our floral store.