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James Douglas Atkinson
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Services were held Friday at Lakewood Memorial Park for James Douglas Atkinson, 79, of Modesto. He died June 25, 2011 at the Garden City Care Home in Modesto after a short illness.

James was born July 6, 1931 in Hibbing, Minn., to Fred and Esther Atkinson. When Jim was 14 his father died suddenly, he moved west with his mother and brother Jerry. They lived in several northern California communities, where his mother sought work. Jim attended high school in Oroville, Monterey, Pacific Grove, and Ceres. In 1953, Jim married Erlene Marie Clark, of Modesto. Mr. Atkinson worked as a postal letter carrier for 32 years, working out of the Kearney Avenue post office. Jim delivered mail to McHenry Village and the neighborhood south of there for many years. He enjoyed fishing and boating, and kept a houseboat at the Turner Cut Marina in Stockton for over twenty years. Jim served in the army reserve for over 40 years, retiring in 1991. He advanced to the rank of lieutenant colonel. He last served as a transportation officer based in Alameda.

He leaves behing his wife of 57 years, Erlene Atkinson of Modesto; his children, James A. Atkinson, and Lynn M. Atkinson, both of Modesto; six grandchildren, Marci Gallagher and Damyn Gallagher, both of Modesto, Jolene Gallagher of Livermore, James C. Atkinson of Savannah, Ga., Daniel Atkinson of Italy, and Amanda Schmitt of O'Fallen, Ill.; and two great-granddaughters. He was preceded in death by father Fred Atkinson and brother Jerry Atkinson.

-Ceres Courier/ July 6, 2011