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James Lindy Atkinson

August 10, 1928

July 6, 2023

James Lindy Atkinson, aged 94, passed away in Calgary on Thursday, July 6, 2023, with his children by his side. He was born on August 10, 1928, in Ringling, Oklahoma, the first child of Jesse James Atkinson and Gladys Ann Fisher. Growing up in Oklahoma, James actively participated in football, boxing, and diving. He graduated from the University of Oklahoma in 1951 with a Bachelor of Science degree in Geology, remaining a lifelong supporter of his beloved “Sooners”. After marrying Joanne Atkinson in 1951, he served as a Captain in the Korean War (1950-1953) as part of the United States Marines. The war deeply impacted him, and although he seldom spoke of his experiences, it would bring tears to his eyes when he did.

Following his time in the military, James and his wife settled in Denver, Colorado, where he founded Atkinson Woods Strain, a geological consulting firm primarily working in the DJ Basin in Colorado. However, James heard about the significant oil and gas discoveries in the Western Canadian Basin (Leduc 1947) and saw a promising opportunity in Alberta, Canada. In 1957, he made the decision to move his family to Calgary. There, James became the first Canadian Apache Oil Corporation employee in 1959. Throughout his career, he worked for various companies, including Brinkerhoff Brothers and Atkinson Petroleums Ltd., which later became APL Oil & Gas Ltd. until selling most of its assets in 2012. Today, APL Oil & Gas (1998) Ltd. continues to thrive under the leadership of his son, Mark Atkinson.

In addition to his professional endeavors, James developed a passion for golf at the age of 29, and it became a lifelong hobby. He treasured the friendships he formed through the sport, as well as his art collection acquired from his travels. James married Linda May Peirce in 1981, but they divorced in 1998. In 1999, he met Betty Naomi Denler, whom he remained with until his passing. James spent several years in the Bahamas and was involved in thoroughbred horse racing businesses in South Africa. He cherished the success of his horses, including “War Artist,” which finished second at the Royal Ascot, and “Linngari,” who achieved second place at the Dubai World Cup in 2007. During the last decade of his life, James split his time between Calgary, where he was an active member of the Calgary Golf and Country Club, and Rancho Mirage, California.

Remembered for his commanding voice, charm, and quick wit, James embraced being the center of attention. However, those close to him knew him to be a gentle and caring spirit beneath his tough exterior. He leaves behind cherished memories for his friends and family. James was preceded in death by his parents, Jessie James Atkinson and Gladys Ann Fisher, sister Tjuana Atkinson, son Blair Atkinson (2022), and grandchildren Forest Myers (2006) and Joline Atkinson (2015). He is survived by his children, Mark Atkinson and Lynde Myers (Rusty), grandchildren Nicole Brilz (Tyler), Jordan Myers (Andrea), McKenzie Myers (Michelle), Rachel Atkinson (Jordan), and great-grandchildren Tyra Bruce, Austin Parlee, Lola Emperingham, Aliyah Brilz, and Rowan Myers.

Rest in peace, Dad. We love you.

Condolences, memories, and photos may be shared and viewed at http://www.MHFH.com. In memory of James Atkinson, a tree will be planted in the Ann & Sandy Cross Conservation Area.

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