James Lawrence Atkinson

October 12, 1931March 11, 2010

James Lawrence Atkinson, 78, of Lakeside and Lakewood Township, passed away surrounded by family Thursday, March 11, 2010 in Edgewood Vista.

Jim was born in Duluth on October 12, 1931 to Lawrence and Frances (Gigrich) Atkinson.

He attended Lakewood Schools and served his country by enlisting in the United States Navy.

On October 24, 1953, he married Helen Fosness in Duluth and together they raised eight children.

Jim was the owner and operator of Lester Park Skelly for over 42 years. The business continues to operate under the ownership of his son, Tom.

Jim was a member of St. Michael’s Catholic Church.

He was a longtime member of the Northwestern Gun Club of Duluth and the NRA.

Jim loved his homestead on the Lester River. He took great pride in his garden. Jim had a tremendous love and reverence for nature; a value instilled upon him by his father and one which Jim passed on to his children. He was a self taught arborist with a special respect for the trees.

He is preceded in death by his parents; two brothers, Richard and Jerry Seibert; and his sister, Julie St. Sauver.

Jim is survived by his wife of 56 years, Helen; eight children, Lawrence (Rita) of St. Cloud, MN., Thomas (Rita) of Proctor, MN., Daniel (Linda) of Grand Rapids, MN., Jean (David) Runquist of Superior, WI., Mary (David) Hallsten of Maple, WI., Mark of Duluth, John of Goodyear, AZ., and James (Jeanne) of Lakewood Township.; one brother, Paul (Anita) Seibert of Apple Valley, MN; two sisters, Edith (Vannie) Toney of Leslie, AK., and Annette (Jerome) Lambert of Esko, MN; 22 grandchildren, Melissa, Kristen, Lisa, Danielle, Jennifer, Jared, Samuel, Thomas, Jacob, Matthew, Erick, Jamie, David, Steven, Jodi, Corey, Aaron, Michael, Nicholas, Jenna, Nathaniel, Kaylea; and 16 great-grandchildren, Kayla, Kamie, Kohl, Ashton, Taylor, Mileena, Cecelia, Steven, Madilyn, Maija, Jayger, Owen, Wyatt, Blake, Dayton and Jenna

A Visitation will be held from 5:00 – 7:00 p.m. Monday, March, 15, 2010 in Bell Brothers Jarvi Dowd Funeral Home. Visitation will continue from 10:00 a.m. until the 11:00 Funeral Mass Tuesday in St. Michael’s Catholic Church. 4901 E. Superior St. Rev. Fr Thomas Radaich , Rev. Fr. Seamus Walsh and Rev. Fr. William Fider officiating. Military Honors will be accorded by the Duluth Honor Guard. Burial will be in Calvary Cemetery.

In Jim’s memory, memorials are preferred to the Solvay Hospice House. Miller-Dwan Foundation. 502 E. 2nd St., Duluth, MN 55808 or the Alzheimer’s Association. PO Box 96011, Washington, DC 20090-6011.

To leave a memory or words of support for the family please visit

Arrangements by Bell Brothers Jarvi Dowd Funeral Home. 925 E. 4th St. 218-722-5131


  • Visitation Monday, March 15, 2010
  • Mass Tuesday, March 16, 2010

James Lawrence Atkinson

have a memory or condolence to add?


receive updates when new memories are posted

Karen Hoylo(Gastler)

March 23, 2010

Helen and family, I was so sorry to hear of Jim`s passing. I will remember you all in my prayers. It`s been a long time since we had coffee together, but I remember all your children playing with mine in your backyard, even after dark. They had such a good time.

Unknown Unknown

March 18, 2010

Please accept our sincere condolences on the death of your husband, father, and Jasarevic

Catherine Seibert-Muir

March 17, 2010

Dear Aunt Helen and Family,
We were all so sorry to hear of Uncle Jim's passing. When I remember him I always remember what a kinda and gentle man he was. My Dad Jerry thought the world and all of him and always spoke so fondly of him and was so thankful to have been blessed to have him as a brother. Our greatest sympathy to you all.
Love and prayers,
Cathy (Seibert) Muir, Jon, Grayson & Tommy

Bruce,Nancy,Anthony Lotti

March 16, 2010

My family and I will truly miss Jim. Jim was a good, honest gentleman with a kind and caring soul. When I took our vehicles to him to be fixed, it was like taking my car to my own dad. I could always trust Jim and I knew he would always tell me the truth. I never questioned him. I'll never forget what Jim said to me when I came to pick up our very worn 1986 Grandam. He said, "Nancy get rid of that damn car!" So shortly after I did - because Jim said so! We love and will miss you Jim. To the family our love. Bruce, Nancy, and Anthony Lotti.

Joe Clein

March 16, 2010

I am Joe Clein, we served at different times on the USS Chevalier. I received your information via another shipmate of ours, one that served with you. I have placed your name on the Chevalier Memoral list and you will be remembered at our next reunions Memoral. Gods Speed.

Dan and Debi Nesgoda

March 15, 2010

Dear Auntie Helen, Larry, Tom, Dan, Jeannie, Mary, Mark, John, Jim and famillies, I am so sorry we were unable to make it to the service. Please know you are in our thoughts and prayers. The photos were a great tribute to a wonderful, caring family man. My memories are always good ones from your home in Lakeside, where we spent alot of time together when we were young! Uncle Jim had this wonderful way to make you feel loved, from his tight squeeze hugs to the twinkle in his eye when he spoke to you. His gentle spirit made you feel good whenever you saw him. I will forever remember the smell of his pipe and the smile on his face when he would come home, no matter how many people were there. Thank you for all the great memories that I will cherish forever. I love you all!

Dan, Debi, Nick and Lindsey

Gene Cotton

March 15, 2010

We are sorry to hear of Jim's passing, and you have our profound sympathy. Jim was one of the all time great guys. We will remember him fondly.
We are off in Florida or we would certainly be with you. Will be in contact when we return. Gene and Lu Cotton

March 14, 2010

The gallery of photos shows what a dedicated family man Jim was. I will always remember his big hugs and how genuinely interested he was in all of his exteneded family members. The quotation after the pictures is perfectly fitting for "Uncle" Jim. He was a man who lived with dignity and grace. The rich legacy he has left you of the love of nature and family values will bring you comfort throughout your lives. He will be missed.
May God bless your family with peace and strength at this time.
Carol and Gary

March 14, 2010

Dear Helen and family.
Please accept our sincere condolences on the death of your husband, father,
and grandfather. Jim was a wonderful person.
Paul, Barb, Susan, and John Gustad


James Lawrence Atkinson