John D. Atkinson III

September 21, 1940 ~ March 2, 2019 (age 78)
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Dr. John Dalrymple Atkinson III passed away peacefully, surrounded by family and enveloped with love. He was born in San Francisco on September 21st, 1940 to Jack and Cecile (Hobro) Atkinson, and lived there until the age of ten when the family moved to San Carlos, California. After graduating from Carlmont High School, John went on to study pre-med at the University of Oregon.

While travelling in Europe after college, he met up with a group of Canadians who shared their experiences working in various capacities of mental health, and the rest is history.  John was always most interested to know what people were thinking and feeling so, once introduced to the field of psychology, there was no stopping him.

Thankfully, tenacity was one of his key character traits. Though deeply intelligent, John suffered from severe dyslexia which presented what, for some, would have been an insurmountable challenge. Instead, he worked for ten years to complete his Ph.D. and became one of the most beloved psychologists in the Willamette Valley.

But none loved him more or were more loved by John than his family. His pride and pleasure in being a husband, father and grandfather were evident in every way. More than anything, he showed up. He was there for every school party, soccer game, gymnastics meet, wrestling match, art show – every everything. Usually behind the camera, documenting every moment. And he showed us how to show up – in our own lives, for one another, and for ourselves.

John was loving and tender, intelligent and articulate, stubborn and persistent, witty and silly, very determined and rarely relaxed, intense and earnest, conscientious and resourceful, compassionate and inquisitive, trustworthy and thoughtful, ultimately reliable and profoundly courageous.

In his last years, John took great joy in caring for his border collie, Baron. They spent many hours at Woodland Park enjoying the beautiful environment and wonderful community there. He believed every being should be treated with loving kindness and respect, and lived his life accordingly. John is a brave and beautiful soul who will live on in our hearts and minds forever – a true gift to behold.

He is survived by his loving wife, Kris Wolters, daughter Ami Atkinson Combs (Jesse Combs), sons Mark Atkinson (Scott Floyd) and Matthew Atkinson (Elizabeth Fujii), and grandsons Sam Atkinson Combs and Will Atkinson Combs, as well as many dear friends.

A celebration of life will be held at the Unitarian Universalist Fellowship of Corvallis on Sunday, March 24th, from 2-4pm. (2945 NW Circle Boulevard, Corvallis, OR 97330)

Donations to the Cure Alzheimer’s Fund, in John’s honor, are welcomed at


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