It’s hard to adequately summarize a life lived to its fullest, but Sid Atkin, a longtime seasonal member of the B7 Ward who passed quietly into eternity on August 10, 2018 at the age of 84, left his mark in many ways on his hometown of “Dixie”, as well as the State of Utah and the world!
Sid grew up at 67 N. 300 East in St. George where, in the red dirt of his hometown he played endless games of basketball and – as the enterprising businessman he would become – opened and operated his own shoeshine stand and, on weekends and during the summer months, worked at the Atkin ranch on the Arizona Strip.
He went to the only elementary school in town and graduated from Woodward Jr. High School (the red sandstone school building behind the Tabernacle). He attended Dixie College when it was on the corner of Main Street and 100 South and where he developed lifelong friendships with a group calling themselves The Bunch.
He served a mission in Great Britain, then returned to Dixie College, graduating in 1958. Immediately after graduation, he, his dad Rudger and brother Clayton sign the paperwork to become the owners of the Sugar Loaf Café where he worked as the manager. Later he built a new café and the Rodeway Inn across St. George Blvd. and with his brother Bruce, built a Sugar Loaf Café and Rodeway Inn in Cedar City,
Sid, his dad, brothers Lee and Clayton joined his brother Ralph (with nephew Jerry – a former member of the B7 Ward - as the manager) in establishing SkyWest Airlines as a major success.
An avid golfer, Sid – when he was President of the SG Chamber of Commerce – was influential in the development of Red Hills Golf Course, the first course in a community where friends and neighbors questioned his intelligence in bringing this simple game to Dixie. He loved the game and played frequently, getting his first and only hole-in-one on the 6thhole as an early member of the Bloomington Country Club. In the past few years, he played regularly at Red Hills with a close group of friends until dementia robbed him of his ability.
He served 8 years in the Utah House of Representatives, including as Majority Whip; was on the Dixie College board of governors, the board of directors at Dixie Regional Medical Center, State Parks board and the Washington County Library Board. He was also an active and devoted member of his church, called to serve as a bishop at the tender age of 28.
He and Mary Ann Hunt Atkin, his wife of 61 years, loved to travel and according to his obituary, “Africa was the only continent he missed and the only states he missed were North Dakota and Alabama.”
He leaves behind his wife, eight children, 33 “grands” and 20 in-law grandchildren, 26 “greats”, one sister and one brother, numerous in-laws, other family members and a beautiful home in Pine Valley where he and Mary Ann loved to spend the summer months.
You are missed, Brother Atkin … in the ward and in your Dixie hometown. Til we meet again!