Gary Lee Atkins, 74, of Sheridan, passed away Saturday, January 20, 2018 at the V.A. Mountain View Living Center with his wife and granddaughter at his side. He was born to Edward and Esther (Choyce) Atkins on September 25, 1943 in Norristown, Pennsylvania.
He was raised in Harleysville, Pennsylvania where he attended school, was a member of Boy Scout Troop #812A and attained the rank of 1st Class, built and flew model airplanes, and met his future wife. Before graduation from high school, he joined the Navy at the Willow Grove Naval Air Station as a weekend -warrior. Upon graduation, he served on the flight deck of the U.S.S. Hornet in the Pacific.
Upon returning from active duty, Gary proposed to his high school sweetheart, Patti Martin. They were married at Christ Evangelical Lutheran Church by the Reverend Homer Weaver; the same church and minister where both were confirmed 3 years apart.
Their vacation to the west to visit a friend resulted in becoming permanent residents of Sheridan where Gary found employment with Frickey’s Heating and Air Conditioning Company. Later, he accepted an offer of employment as an HVAC tech. at Decker Coal and finished his last 18 years before retiring at Alpine Climate Control.
Gary enjoyed camping and cooking in the Big Horns with his family, maintaining and improving the family home, and was known as a man with a strong work ethic. He said, “A man finishes what he starts.”
Gary was preceded in death by his parents and by a son, the late Benjamin Atkins. He is survived by his wife, Patti; sons, Andrew of Casper and Daniel (Tamara) of Gillette; 6 grandchildren; a brother, Edward (Karen) of Wisconsin; and 4 nieces and nephews.
A funeral service will be held at 11:00 a.m. Thursday, January 25, 2018 with a visitation beginning at 10:00 a.m. at Trinity Lutheran Church, 135 Crescent Dr., with Pastor Phil Wold officiating. Reception immediately following in the church hall. Interment will be held at 1:00 p.m. in the Sheridan Municipal Cemetery with military honors. Memorial contributions may be made in Gary’s memory, to the Sheridan Senior Center, 211 Smith St., Sheridan, WY 82801. Online condolences may be written at www.championfh.com. Arrangements are under the direction of Champion Funeral Home.