Gerald (Jerry) Ralph Atkinson passed through the veil and was lovingly taken into the arms of the Savior on Sept. 12, 2022. He was surrounded by his family at his daughter’s home in Grantsville, Utah. Jerry is survived by his beloved wife Gloria Clare Kidd Atkinson and his four children Hollie (Errol) Bevan, Veda (Floyd) Salisbury, Roger (Linda) Atkinson, and Carolyn (Kim) Seeholzer. Jerry has 14 grandchildren, and 33 great-grandchildren, whom he loved dearly. He was preceded in death by his sister Norma Kidd, brother-in-law Val Kidd, and brother Merle Atkinson.
Jerry was born in Stockton, California, April 14, 1932, to Edmund Newlove Atkinson and Lula Marie Hockett Atkinson. His first job was at a corner gas station; he then moved on to an auto machine shop rebuilding engines. He loved to work on anything mechanical, building and repairing, and seeing how all the parts worked. This was one of his many talents.
Jerry joined the Navy Reserves when he was only 17 years old. He then transferred to the Navy Fighter Bombs Squadron in Oakland, California. In 1952, his sister Norma and her fiancé Val Kidd set him up with a date with Val’s first cousin, who happened to be Gloria. After a long-distance courtship with Jerry in California and Gloria in Idaho, they were married in the Idaho Falls Temple on May 20, 1953.
Jerry was employed as the maintenance supervisor for the Campbell Soup Swanson TV Dinner plant in Modesto, California. Because of his love of large machinery and engines, he purchased and drove a long-haul diesel truck and took his wife Gloria, who learned to drive the truck as well. He then accepted employment at Pepperidge Farms in Richmond, Utah, as their maintenance supervisor, which led to a huge disappointment from corporate layoffs. Never one to stay laying down, he was employed in Snowville, Utah, as the electrician for many quarter-mile pivot sprinklers. Because of his expertise with the pivot sprinklers, he was offered employment by one of the royal family members in Saudi Arabia to supervise and manage the pivots in their expansive desert fields. Upon returning to the States, he accepted employment for a truck company, both driving trucks and maintaining their computer systems. Not ready to retire, he later drove a bus for Cache Valley Transit, and then, finally retired in his 80s. Not only was he gifted mechanically, but he was a computer-wiz, too, always learning to stay current.
Jerry loved the Lord and served in many capacities throughout his life for The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. He was always a faithful member missionary, having served as a stake seventy for many years, and later a member of the stake’s seventys presidency during the 1970s. He also faithfully served as the ward clerk and/or finance clerk for many years, even serving with multiple bishops throughout his life span. He and Gloria were also called to serve as aids to the local Cambodian Branch President in West Valley City, Utah, for just under five years. (This is now called an Inner-City Mission.) Jerry also was blessed to serve with his dear wife in both the Jordan River Temple and the Logan Utah Temple. Jerry loved the hymns and was blessed with a beautiful bass voice and sang from his youth into his 80s in many Church choirs. He walked the Covenant Path to Heaven being serenaded in his room by his favorites sung by The Tabernacle Choir at Temple Square having been true and faithful all of his life to his testimony of the Gospel of Jesus Christ.
Funeral services and viewing will be held Sept. 17, 2022, at The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints Newton Chapel, 12 S. 100 West, Newton, Utah. The viewing will be from 10:30 to 11:30 a.m. The funeral will start at 12 p.m. Burial will be at the Newton Cemetery, 1005 N. 100 West, Newton, Utah. A livestream of the service may be found as well. The family is very appreciative for the compassionate service provided by Cache Valley Mortuary and the Newton 2nd Ward Relief Society.