Passed away peacefully after an unexpected cancer diagnosis at Grand River Hospital, Kitchener, ON on December 5, 2022, at the age of 91 years.
Loving father of Howard J. Atkinson (Deb Kimsa) of Toronto, & Heather Cressman (Jay) of Waterloo. Beloved grandpa of Sydney, Garrett, Olivia and Callum Atkinson; Joshua Kimsa (Kristine) and Kailey Kimsa; Zachary Cressman (Kim), Connor Cressman (Ashley) and Krista Van Slingerland (Evan). Sweet greatgrandpa to Grayson Cressman.
Predeceased by his parents, Ervin C. & Eliza Jane (Lillian) Atkinson (nee Ferguson), brothers Delbert Atkinson (Sharon) & Roy Atkinson (Nell), sister Joyce Walker (Allan).
Survived by sister Ruth Hisey-Rafati (Joe).
Howard grew up on a farm in rural Ontario in the Creemore-Stayner area. From a young age, he knew the farming life was not for him, so after high school, he headed to Kitchener, hiring on with a repo company (a job he hated) before joining Bell Canada, where he would spend 32 years in sales & management. Upon retiring from Bell, Howard went to work for the City of London as Business Development Manager, & was well into his eighties when he ended his working career as Director of Project Development with MCI Design-Build Corporation.
He had a lifelong love of reading, learning & education, eventually completing his BA as a mature student at the University of Windsor. All things history was a passion for him, with JFK being a particular fascination.
Beyond being driven to succeed at work, Howard was also active in many community efforts: from the numerous Better Business Bureaus & Chambers of Commerce he joined in multiple cities, to adding his voice & business acumen to numerous boards & committees. He was active in coaching his son in baseball & hockey, & whenever possible, he could be found rooting for kids & grandkids at their many sporting activities.
In his spare time, Howard was known to squeeze in the 'occasional round' of golf & games of poker. An avid sports fan, he watched many Blue Jays' games on TV & ever the optimist, never gave up cheering for his beloved Toronto Maple Leafs, though his faithfulness was rewarded with decades of heartache.
Multiple family trips are remembered fondly, from annual vacations to Long Point cottages & March Break trips to Florida, to exploring Montreal's Expo '67, & a Maritime holiday to Peggy's Cove, Anne of Green Gables & the Bay of Fundy.
He will be sadly missed by our family, extended family members, friends, former colleagues & neighbours. In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to the Canadian Cancer Society as expressions of sympathy.
1 Corinthians 13:13 "So now faith, hope, and love abide, these three; but the greatest of these is love."
Messages and condolences may be left for the family at www.tricitycremations.com or 519.772.1237. Please visit Howard's obituary notice on Facebook.