Services Sunday for Robert 'Clark' Atkinson of Woodside


Services for Robert "Clark" Atkinson III are set for 3 p.m. Sunday, Oct. 2, at 2200 Ralston in Hillsborough. Mr. Atkinson died unexpectedly on Sept. 15 while tending his prize-winning fuchsias in Woodside. The cause was a heart attack; he was 72.

His fellow Elks Lodge members are also honoring Mr. Atkinson with a memorial service at the Palo Alto Lodge, 4249 El Camino Real, at 1 p.m. Oct. 6, with a reception to follow. The public is welcome at both services.

Mr. Atkinson was born on Oct. 1, 1943, in San Francisco. The family moved to Menlo Park, where Bob developed a cul-de-sac near Hillview School called Atkinson Lane. Also living on the street were Clark's grandparents, so for many years, Menlo Park was the residence of three generations of Atkinsons.

He went to the Palo Alto Military Academy rather than Menlo Park schools and attended both Menlo-Atherton and Woodside high schools. As a young adult, he went to work as an optician in his grandfather's optometry business in San Francisco.

Later, he worked for Hewett Marine & Industrial Supply in San Francisco, a company that supplied heavy marine equipment to waterfront projects around the world. When owner Ralph Hewett retired in 2003, Mr. Atkinson took over the company.

Known as a bon vivant, Mr. Atkinson cultivated fuchsias, serving as president of the San Mateo Branch of the American Fuchsia Society. He was an accomplished craftsman who transformed homes he resided in with skill and imagination. His affinity for tools was well known, as was his propensity for building bird houses.

He was a photographer and an avid car collector – he owned as many as six Corvettes at one point in his life – and was relentless in his pursuit of adventure.

Following in his father's footsteps, he was initiated an Elk in 1967 at Palo Alto Elks Lodge #1471, and served as exalted ruler from 2012 to 2013.

A lifelong golfer, he belonged to the Peninsula Golf & Country Club in San Mateo. Recently he joined the Italian-American Social Club in Menlo Park.

Mr. Atkinson is survived by a sister, Mary Jane Atkinson, and a brother, Bill Atkinson, as well as numerous nieces and nephews, both related and "adopted."

For those who wish to make a donation in Mr. Atkinson's memory, the family suggests the Palo Alto Elks Lodge Charity Fund (4249 El Camino Real, Palo Alto, 94306) or a charity of your choice.

This information was provided by Mr. Atkinson's friend, Linda Hubbard, who posted a longer obituary on

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