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Melvin Atkinson

Jul 3, 2021

July 28, 1934-June 26, 2021

Melvin Atkinson, 86, of

Hazen ND, passed away

peacefully on June 26,

2021, at Sakakawea Medi-

cal Center, Hazen with

family by his side. Visita-

tion will be held on Tues-

day, July 6th, 2021 at 9:00

AM CDT with a memorial

service to follow at 10:00

AM at the Barbot Funeral

Home in Beulah followed

by his burial at the North

Dakota Veteran’s

Cemetery, Mandan, ND at

2:00 PM CDT.

Mel was born July 28,

1934, in Bottineau County

to Thomas Nelson Atkin-

son and Johanna (Liebelt)

Atkinson. Mel was bap-

tized in Willow City ND

in 1941. He grew up on

the family farm and gra-

duated from Willow City

High School in 1952. Mel

continued in his family’s

long history of military

service and enlisted in the

U.S. Army in 1954 and

was Honorably

Discharged in 1956. He re-

ceived the National De-

fense Service and the

Good Conduct Medals

and continued in the

Army Reserve for an addi-

tional 8 years. Mel furth-

ered his education at the

ND School of Forestry in

Bottineau and at NDSU in


Mel met Shirley Erick-

son in 1957 and they were

united in marriage on

June 21, 1958 in Rugby

ND. They lived in Towner

while Mel worked on con-

struction projects. In

1980, Mel and Shirley

moved their family to

Hazen to work in the

power plant industry. It

was common to see Mel

working with and sharing

his love of horses with his

family and friends. He be-

came involved with rais-

ing Montana Travler

horses in 1994 and con-

tinued with that for many


Mel’s passion for horses

led him on countless trail

rides, numerous wagon

trains including the Girls

Scouts of American

wagon train in 1991,

President Clinton’s inau-

gural parade in 1993, and

the Pony Express to Chey-

enne, WY, in 1994. Mel

was a member of the U.S.

Marshal Posse, the West

River Teamsters Associa-

tion, and the Western

Canadian Wheelwright


Mel is survived by: his

wife of 63 years, Shirley

of Hazen, and their chil-

dren Sarah Elder (Ben

Elder) of Valley City ND,

Tom Atkinson of Ayr ND,

Sandra Krause (Bob

Krause) of Parker CO, and

Tim Atkinson of Blan-

chard ND. Mel was a lov-

ing grandfather to his

grandchildren, Shane

Tragesser, Dustin

Tragesser, Nicole Krause,

Matthew Krause (Abigail

Krause), Kristy Larson

(Travis Larson), and

Kaitlyn Atkinson. He was

also the proud

great-grandfather to Kyson

Larson, Thielyn Larson,

and Katherine Krause.

Mel is also survived by

his two sisters, Donna

Cote of Missoula MT and

Sally Brandt of Cleveland

TN, along with numerous

loving cousins, nieces,

and nephews.

Mel was preceded in

death by: his parents Tho-

mas and Johanna; broth-

ers Harold Atkinson, May-

nard Atkinson and his

wife Ana Atkinson;

brothers-in-law Sheldon

(Ted) Brandt and Victor


Our family would like

to express our heartfelt

thanks and gratitude to all

who have been so

thoughtful and kind dur-

ing this time. Your love,

support, and friendship is

greatly appreciated by us


In lieu of flowers, dona-

tions can made be made

to the Western North

Dakota Honor Flight @

PO Box 265, Bismarck ND

58502 –


Arrangements are con-

ducted by Barbot Funeral

Home, Beulah and Hazen.

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