Glen Atkinson passed away suddenly at home on December 28, 2014, leaving behind his wife of 54 years, Patricia; his sons, Michael (Marlys) and Peter (Lorinda); daughter, Maureen (Mike); granddaughter, Shanae; grandsons, Kieran, Graham, and Finn and his brother, Brian and sister, Susan.

What a full life Glen led! He was a native Victorian, living here nearly his entire life. He earned his BSC at UBC, where he met Patricia, and was soon teaching biology at Oak Bay High School in a career full of high points. He coached Reach for the Top, including the 1968 team that won the Canadian championship, and also coached successful girls’ basketball teams. He became a Mr. Chips of Oak Bay and was greatly loved by the over 7,000 students he taught or had in his home room during his 36 years at the school. He never failed to notice a new haircut and greeted students he encountered in the halls. He excelled in the classroom, inspiring many students to pursue careers related to biology, and was considered by many students to be their favourite teacher.

Glen brought the family of five to Northern Queensland, Australia in 1974, where both he and Pat taught for two years. Aussie friends have visited them in Victoria every year since. A three month backpacking trip home through Southeast Asia (with the kids) kicked off a lifetime of adventure travel for Glen and Pat. Together, the two visited far-flung places such as Zanzibar and Papua New Guinea, spending time in tropical rain forests (where they could add to their bird count) and connecting with fellow travellers and local inhabitants wherever they went.

Glen was blessed with a beautiful tenor voice and was a singer throughout his life. He won trophies at the Victoria Performing Arts Festival as a boy, sang solos at UBC, performed in musicals and sang solos at Oak Bay High School. He was a member of the Arion Male Voice Choir and enjoyed his practices and performances with the Grandview Quartet/Trio over the last 10 years.

Glen retired from teaching in 1996 and spent the next eight years mentoring student teachers through the UVic Education program. On retirement he also began a life full of new activities. He became a master wood turner, a member of a wood turner’s guild, and a wood turning teacher at the Juan de Fuca seniors centre. Interested in photography throughout his life, he became more keen in retirement, learning techniques with the camera and also with Photoshop.

Glen loved to keep up with his many lifelong friends. He and his wife Pat hosted many memorable parties over the years, including their annual musical Christmas Eve party for family and friends. Glen had a great capacity for love and adored his wife, children and grandchildren. Glen lived life truly and deeply and will be greatly missed by his family and the many other people whose lives he enriched.

There will be a celebration of Glen’s life at Centennial United Church, 612 David St, Victoria, BC on Saturday, January 10, 2015 at 2:00 p.m. In lieu of flowers, please consider a donation to a charity of your choice. Condolences may be offered to the family below.

McCall Bros. Funeral Home

www.mccallbros.com

  • Jonathan Roberts
    June 5, 2015

    Sir, I apologize for being late with my condolences but only today found out of your passing. You are one of the fondest memories I have about high school, that awkward period between untold ignorance and acknowledged ignorance. You taught me two things, first – avoid the sciences, while I had the curiosity, I lacked the discipline; second – to embrace and encourage that which you enjoy so that it overshadows what may perceived as a liability. I recall your singing at our commencement ceremonies in 1977 – that was inspiring. Not the song, as I have forgotten it, but the force of the singing and the depth of the love that shone through bright enough to affect the heart of a child who used to mimic you in an unflattering way before he heard it, but admired your bravery afterward. Thank you for that gentle push on the tiller. That has made a significant difference in MY life and that is what we can all hope for on this journey, that we leave betterment in our shallow wake of passing.

  • Aud Fischer
    April 16, 2015

    I only just found out that my favorite teacher from high school has passed away. He was one of the reasons why I went on to study biology and why I love being out on lakes so much. Coming from five years in the German school system he made me believe in myself again. He went out of his way for me. He got me and a friend to run the school saltwater aquarium, he allowed me to use his office to sculpt animals in my free time, he took me to the BC Museum to meet their sculptor, he took me on extra field trips to collect newts and on my one and only fishing trip. When he found out that I was not planning on attending graduation, he insisted I go and his wife altered their daughter’s dress so it would fit me. It was a beautiful dress and I felt like the prettiest girl there, he showed me that marking rights of passage is important and I will always have that memory. He was the most amazing person, so full of life, fun, the joy of living and most of all kindness. I will never forget him.

  • jill martin
    March 14, 2015

    To the Atkinson family,
    Like so many others who have shared their memories of Glen on this page, I was shocked and deeply saddened by his loss. But what a legacy he left his school, his community, his friends and his family.
    Out here on the east coast in Lunenburg NS, I don’t get the Victoria news as quickly, so learning last week about his death was a great shock. Immediately, I went back to the old yearbooks and sat for hours on the floor of my office reminiscing. Science department pictures, dress up day candids, Oak Bay barbeques on the front lawn. Glen was a part of them all.
    I was privileged to be a colleague of Glen’s from1986 when I joined the Oak Bay English Department until 1996 when he retired. At Christmas assemblies, staff meetings or soirees – the Great Murder Mystery of 89 is one that comes immediately to mind; no plan was ever too bizarre or difficult to execute. No matter what hat he was wearing, Glen wore it with charm, aplomb and dedication.
    The Glen Atkinson years at Oak Bay will forever be remembered.
    Warm thoughts from Nova Scotia
    Jill Martin Tag 14

  • Eve Gordon
    February 6, 2015

    My thoughts are with Glen’s family in his passing. Mr. Atkinson changed my life in regards to studies in Biology. I will always remember him bringing our class to his home to pass around fossils, he thought outside the box when it came to learning. A great loss and great man.

  • Nancy Talbot Trueman
    January 21, 2015

    Dear Pat and family
    Glen will be so missed by so many of us. Right from being my biology teacher and then as an adult hiking with Pat and Glen and then ballroom dancing classes, Glen will be in our hearts forever. Glen was always an inspiration to us in so many ways and his wonderful smile will remain with us in our hearts forever.

    Gerry and I send our condolences and thoughts to you Pat and your family
    Nancy and Gerry Trueman

  • margot ling
    January 18, 2015

    I am so sorry to learn of Glen Atkinson’s passing. Mr. Akinson was generous with his time. I remember he and his wife and the children took me to China Beach for a picnic. Maureen was my best friend at the time. I have very many fond memories of the Atkinsons. Mr. Atkinson was also easy going. I remember being a very bossy friend of Maureen’s; I was two years older and Maureen was a very kind lovely child who could put up with almost anything. Friendships come and go and unfortunately that’s what happened but the memories I have of the Atkinsons and especially when I was a child I will always endure. Margot Ling

  • Sue (Holmes) McDonald
    January 11, 2015

    I have very fond memories of Mr. Atkinson from my years at Oak Bay too. He was very encouraging about learning biology and I enjoyed the free block to do some ‘assistant’ work which seems much grosser to me now than it did then. It was wonderful to hear him sing with Jim Mainguy, at my friend Di’s wedding, then meeting him again many years later. Sing up a storm Glen. Fondly, Sue (Holmes) McDonald, from 1968.

  • Bob Pearmain
    January 11, 2015

    Dear Pat and family:

    George Dey kindly forwarded a message that Glen had suddenly passed away. My Pat and I send our sincere condolences on his untimely passing to you Pat and the family.

    Glen and I met at Vic College in September 1954 – he from Esquimalt and me from Mt View. He was sciences and I was Arts. But we shared the common goal of becoming teachers and working with kids. Our friendship grew at UBC when we shared the enriching experience of MUSSOC and singing in the Boyfriend together and coping with the perils of Teacger Training. Glen met his Pat and I met mine. Glen returned to the island and as my Pat was a Vancouver girl, I applied for and got a teaching job in Vancouver. Sadly, we lost direct contact as we became fathers. But I always followed Glen’s career from afar and knew about his Aussie adventure.

    We all have regrets. Once my parents moved to the North Shore to be closer to us and the grandkids, my Pat and I rarely travelled to the island and hence was I was not able to keep the connection going. I am sincerely sorry for that.

    Pat – please know that you are in your thoughts and prayers at this difficult time.

    Very sincerely,
    Bob and Pat Pearmain

  • Judy Elliot
    January 11, 2015

    Please accept my deepest sympathies, it is very true the good die young. Glen was VERY good and I count myself blessed to have known him for even the short time I did.

    I was a fellow new Tenor with Glen in the Peninsula Singers and I soon discovered Glen to be one of the kindest men I’ve ever had the pleasure of knowing.

    During our short breaks, I was fortunate enough to have a bit of time to chat with Glen. During one of those occasions Glen and I got talking about age, family, etc. He told me he was totally happy with where he was in his life…he cherished his wife, Pat, his children and his grandchildren. He said he had a great life and wouldn’t change one single thing about it.

    On another break I remember telling Glen I was taking water colour lessons, but wasn’t sure it was my medium. He said, “Let me ask you this, are you having fun?” I replied that I was indeed having fun. Glen gave me a knowing grin and I thought what a very wise fellow he was. I continue to go to my class, but with a refreshed attitude, as my goal now is to have fun.

    I am so saddened by the loss of Glen, but will always remember what he taught me. Seize life, family, friends, have fun. Glen most definitely did not have any regrets..

    Sincerely, Judy Elliot

  • Waters Family
    January 11, 2015

    Our deepest sympathy on your loss. Catherine, Anne-Marie and Alastair revered Mr. Atkinson as an engaging, inspiring and dedicated teacher and remember him also as a warm, understanding older friend who took a personal interest in each of his students. As parents we too gratefully remember Glen’s insights and kindness when he spoke with us of our children. What a full life he led and what a wonderful legacy he leaves behind.

  • richy thierbach
    January 10, 2015

    I will remember how much of a positive force Glen was in my life. A MASTER teacher and a wonderful person he has touched so many. my condolences to all that feel his loss….richy t

  • Dennis Zozula
    January 9, 2015

    Well I was very surprised and saddened by this news. I was always impressed and jealous of Glen’s magic ability at teaching. I have been buoyed up by the good old days memories of working together. I’m sure there will many good stories.

  • Mona (Robertson) Leggett
    January 9, 2015

    I was so sorry to hear of Mr. Atkinson’s passing. He was my favourite Basketball Coach and Biology Teacher. I played for him from 1966 to 1968. I would like to thank the family for sharing Glen with so many students. His leadership and caring was much appreciated.

    Sincerely,

    Mona Leggett

  • George and Marlene Dey
    January 9, 2015

    Dear Pat and Family,
    Our sincere sympathy goes out to you and your family.Glen’s sudden death was a shock to so many who were fortunate to know him. I just regret that I had not been in touch with you both in several years.

    I have such happy memories of our years at UBC–fun times at the Campus Cupboard,serious times in the Library,and musical times with MUSSOC and the UBC Choral Society. Glen’s voice stood out for all to enjoy. We auditioned and succeeded in being selected for the chorus of THE BOY FRIEND, CALL ME MADAM. Quite a group of us– such fun !

    Your marriage was characterized by its deep love and recognized by us all. Caring and sharing your love of teaching, and people met in travel adventures. The students you met were treated to your enthusiasm and experience–a lasting memory of a fine teacher.
    I particularly like the reference to ” Mr. Chips “. Glen loved teaching and consistently delivered his best to his students.

    Although we know our time on earth is indeterminate, we choose to think that we will live forever.We are neverprepared for our time of calling. We are leaving behind a host of happy memories of the times we shared together.

    Surround yourself with your own inner strength, coupled by the support of your family and friends.

    Our thoughts are with you in this time of grieving.

    Rest in peace dear friend.

    George and Marlene Dey

  • Susie and Steve Ross
    January 8, 2015

    We were very upset and saddened when we picked up a Times Columnist when we were on Galiano Island last weekend and read about Glen’s death. Although we only met Glen and Pat for a couple of days every June at Yellowpoint, we always looked forward to their arrival there. Glen was one of those people that one instantly likes and respects. His vitality and his enthusiasm for everything in nature have really added to our enjoyment of our stay at Yellowpoint every year. We will never again play a game of bochi or see a moon snail without thinking of Glen. Pat, we send you our very deepest sympathy and wish you and your family all the very best at this very sad time. We hope that we see you again one day at Yellowpoint.

  • Lynette (Goff) Thurber
    January 7, 2015

    Thank you to Mr. Atkinson’s family for sharing him with the rest of us. He was so generous with his time and so nice to be around. I was in his biology classes and on his basketball team from 1966 to 1968 and learned many valuable lessons about competition and life from him. He was the best of teachers and role models.

  • Mariana Chapman
    January 6, 2015

    Dear Pat and family
    My heart goes out to you at this difficult time for the loss of Glen. I only met him recently when he sang with the Crystal Singers at our concert. He has touched many lives . In the loss of such a special man, may precious memories fill your heart and ease your pain.
    Hugs:
    Mariana Chapman

  • Ann Kyle (Scarisbrick)
    January 6, 2015

    You know that security question for financial institutions that asks “Who was your favourite teacher?” I wonder how many of us have “Mr. Atkinson” as an answer! He was, by far, my favourite teacher at Oak Bay (class of 70), and he tipped the scales in influencing my choice to study biology at university. I continued on to graduate school and am still working in the biomedical sciences. His warmth, enthusiasm and humour radiated throughout everything he did. I hope his family takes comfort in knowing that Glen Atkinson truly made a difference in the lives of others.
    My sincere condolences,
    Ann

  • Steve Ivings
    January 5, 2015

    I never had Glen as a teacher but I knew him because he was one of the really cool people who taught at Oak Bay. I would joke with him and he joked back which made me feel kinda special – I thought I was funny, he appreciated it and contributed his own humour to our conversation. I remember him coming into CFAX, years later when I worked there, to do an interview and he greeted me like an old friend. Which is how I felt about him. I’m sad to hear of his passing but inspired by the details of his full life. Glen was, without question, one of those people who leave a mark on this world. Bless him.

  • Murray Mitchell
    January 5, 2015

    My sincere condolences to the family for your loss. I am one of the over 7,000 students who was impacted by Mr. Atkinson (class of 73), in class and in his home. He is one of the reasons that I transitioned from a “resistant” student to becoming an educator. I hope it is some consolation to you that so many small pieces of him will live on in the impact he has had on so many, all over the world.

  • Sherri Morgan
    January 4, 2015

    I have many fond memories of Mr. Atkinson. He and Mr. Hunt got me so interested in science that I spent many hours in the science lab while skipping out of other classes. Of course he knew I was there and always gave me things to research. (I suppose he thought that my time was much better spent there than it would have been down at Bowker Creek).
    I remember he was allergic to formaldehyde and he suffered greatly when pig dissection came along. I know he also felt very badly for the frogs whose brains were scrambled for our edification.
    He was a a great human being and taught so much more than science. He will be missed by all who knew him.
    I would wish that every student has at least one teacher like him in their lifetime. He was a treasure.
    Sherri Morgan. Grad 1974

  • Bob and Linda Pearson
    January 4, 2015

    Deepest sympathy to the Atkinson family. Glen and I go back many years to Craigflower Elementary School, Grade one. Even as a youngster, he had a most wonderful voice and how he loved to entertain! Such a loss. Rest in peace and sing with the angels!

  • Lisa Lasagna
    January 4, 2015

    Pat and family,

    I am so sorry to hear about Glen’s sudden passing. It was my great joy to spend time with both of you in the Arbutus Singers and more recently to see you both at Mike’s concerts. Glen was an incredibly warm, friendly and giving person as well as being a lot of fun. He will be missed deeply.

    Lisa

  • Nerissa Layton
    January 4, 2015

    Wishing heartfelt condolences and fantastic memories of Glen ( or as I knew him: Mr. Atkinson), to you all. I have such fond memories of time spent with your family, especially one day row boating and trout fishing with Glen and Peter. Always a warm welcome… have thought of you all through out these years… left a wonderful lasting impression.
    Sincerely, Nerissa.

  • Jana Park
    January 4, 2015

    R.IP. Mr. A.
    I was blessed to have you as both a bball coach and biology teacher. You were definitely one of the good ones! You will be missed
    Condolences to your family and friends

  • Jack Elliiott and Pat Hapgood
    January 4, 2015

    Jack and I were initially dance friends of Glen and Pat. We all took lessons from Elsie and then went to monthly dances to show off our new skills but when Glen and Pat heard some jive music their lessons were ignored and they just did what they started as teenagers and everyone stopped to watch them. In latter years we attended choir concerts and really enjoyed listening to Glen perform.
    I’m sorry we won’t be able to attend on the 10th as we will be out of town.
    Our deepest sympathy Pat. Our hearts ache for you and your family.
    Sincerely Pat and Jack

  • Tracy Ware
    January 4, 2015

    Mr. Atkinson (I remember him under that name, and I will always remember him) was nothing less than heroic as a teacher. He was endlessly patient with kids like me who would have tried anyone’s patience, and he made his subject lively and compelling. He had a great sense of humour, and he made his students feels that they mattered, both in and out of the classroom. I send my warmest condolences to his family.

  • Dawn Weaver Danay, class of 69
    January 3, 2015

    I am sorry for your loss. Although I was not privileged to be taught by Mr. Atkinson, I remember his friendly helpfulness in the corridors to this lost child from a small town suddenly adrift in a huge school.
    He sang at a few assemblies and his voice was transporting for we music lovers.
    My friends who were in his classes spoke very highly of the experience, leaving those of us left out a little jealous. I well remember the celebration that greeted the return of the winning reach for the top team, and the fun of watching the try outs in the gym at lunch time. I also remember being hurried along by him if I dawdled a little too long near the lockers with my nose in a book, at bell time. He was nice but also firm about the rules!

  • Niki Upton
    January 3, 2015

    My thoughts are with Mr. Atkinson’s family. He was my favourite teacher in my two years at Oak Bay. His class was always so fun and interesting. I looked forward to it immensely and never forgot the day he warned us to look out for the “piggy parts” in the lab sinks (he was kidding, but it was so funny to this gal who was a very cynical teenager at the time). He was a fantastic teacher.

  • David Morgan
    January 3, 2015

    I had the pleasure of having gone to Oak Bay High School while Glen was a teacher/coach, I had the pleasure of teaching him with him at Oak Bay, and I also had the pleasure of enjoying some good parties with him. He was certainly a talented man. No mention of the “Atkinson” jive step in the obit. It was a sight to behold.
    My thoughts are with the family.
    RIP

  • Russ Ball
    January 3, 2015

    Glen was an inspiration for students and teachers alike. He was a true Renaissance Man. He made a really positive difference in the lives of so many people. Thanks Glen-Rest In Peace.

  • mike spence
    January 3, 2015

    Our Condolences to the Atkinson family for your loss.,

    Mike and Nana Spence Victoria, (neighbours of Croftons)

  • Mark Smith
    January 3, 2015

    I was blessed with a number of good teachers at Oak Bay, but only Glen and Mrs. (Miriam) Taylor can take credit for keeping me in school and encouraging me to stay on track through difficult times. Bi93 and Bi97 were sheer magic, and Mr. A’s labs left me breathless.

    I remember, a year or two after graduation, bringing him a perfectly mummified squirrel and intact nest I found in a spruce tree I’d felled for firewood in the Yukon. His pure delight and gratitude for thinking of him were one of the highlights of my life — imagine, HIM thanking ME, when so much gratitude was and continues to be owed in the other direction.

    To Pat and the family, thanks from a legion of us for sharing this spectacular man for a while.

    Mark Smith (1967)

  • Aliceyn Fokuhl
    January 3, 2015

    As with Kris Lewis, I met Glen and Pat through their daughter, our friend, Maureen. I was truly inspired by Glen’s bowl-turning artwork. I will forever treasure the bowl that Glen, Maureen, and myself turned together in his shop. The spirit of life he embraced is one we should all aim for. My heart goes out to all his family and friends. I would have loved to have had the opportunity to spend more time hearing the stories he had to tell…

  • Ken Smith
    January 3, 2015

    I am so sorry to hear of Glen’s sudden passing. He was a wonderful and fun-loving man with a genuine love and caring in his heart for all people. My former wife Frankie and I had the pleasure of attending many parties with Glen, Pat and their friends and Glen and Frankie did many singing engagements together. My condolences to Pat and family.

    Ken

  • Charlotte Lane
    January 3, 2015

    My sincere sympathy to Pat and family. I have very fond memories of Glen while I was a teacher at Oak Bay.

    Charlotte lane

  • Gayle Johnston
    January 3, 2015

    It was with great sorrow that I read of Glen’s passing.
    Although I had only known Glen for a few months, I feel blessed to have met & “played” with him in the shop at the Juan de Fuca center. His love & knowledge of wood turning was very apparent as he used his teaching experience & shared his skills. Glen will be greatly missed!

  • John & Jean Reid
    January 3, 2015

    Patricia and Family;
    Mr. and Mrs. John Reid, former teacher at OBHS now living in Yorkshire, England, have asked me to relay their condolence and expression of sympathy on Glen’s death.
    John remembers Glen well as one of Oak Bay’s favourite and most revered teachers.

    Ken Adsett

  • Connie Harris
    January 3, 2015

    I am so sorry to hear of your loss. My friends and I had such a great time in Biology class at Oak Bay High (68-70). Mr. Atkinson was a wonderful teacher, and his sharpness and sense of humour stimulated many of us to pursue careers in science. For myself it was in pharmaceutical science – the love of learning amazing things about life sciences was really fanned by being in an always-stimulating class with Mr. Atkinson. Here’s to a great life lived!
    Connie (Scobie) Harris

  • Clayton Shold
    January 3, 2015

    I can think of no higher tribute to a teacher than his students of 40 years prior, remembering him for his teaching, his inspiration, his caring, and his talents. Mr. A made science fun and interesting. Truly he influenced me to pursue a BSc at UVIC. I can count on one hand the teachers that had a meaningful impact on my life. Glen Atkinson is at the top of that list.

    My condolences to the family. He will be missed, fondly remembered, and never forgotten.

    Clayton Shold, Oakville (Class of 73)

  • Taryn
    January 2, 2015

    I hope you take some comfort in knowing that Mr Atkinson was one of the most loved teachers at Oak Bay high school. His ability to connect with students through his humour, knowledge, and kindness was exceptional. He is a legend. My husband is a high school biology teacher, and though they never met, my stories of Mr Atkinson influence how he teaches his students! He even plays Neil Diamond during labs – the kids LOVE it!
    Grad 95
    Taryn Larsen

  • Jim Dempsey
    January 2, 2015

    Living here in Newfoundland, the news from Victoria doesn’t always come quickly. Catherine and I were, therefore, shocked when we returned home early on New Year’s day to hear the sad news of Glen’s death.

    Glen was my teacher at Oak Bay and I am also one of the members of his 1968 championship Reach For The Top team. We were a fine bunch of bright, quirky, cocky, and self-conscious lads who, through Glen’s guidance were fortunate to find 15 minutes of fame. We were good, but we became winners because of the direction that Glen gave us. The team wasn’t picked out of a crowd. We had to qualify in a week of playoffs with lots of other bright kids in the school. Then, throughout the season, we met at the Atkinson’s house every Tuesday to take on the two teams on the show that night. We used our buzzer board to improve our reaction times and had to beat the on air competitors by pushing our buttons and then getting the right answer. We were regular winners in the family room against a black and white TV and became weekly entertainment for the Atkinson children. I was very nervous as I never felt that I was quite up to being on the team. With practice and encouragement from Glen, I found a way to step up and actually made the difference in a couple of important games. It was a heady time and the national championship in Vancouver was incredible.

    During the national championship, the staff at CBC Vancouver and all of the good BC teams we had beaten were behind us. Nobody expected us to win and there were some interesting moments when post-tournament plans hadn’t included the winners. At this point, we had a lot of local support behind us and Glen helped us to be minor celebrities. The climax was our trip to southeast Asia in February 1969. There is nothing like a road trip to build a team. We all have memories of new experiences and the enjoyment of each others’ company. Throughout our travels in Canada and overseas, Glen treated us like adults and gave us the right amount of slack to experience a larger world. I also think that this trip was the beginning of Glen’s plans to teach in tropical Australia.

    Since high school, I have tried to keep in touch, at least occasionally. I remember Catherine and I visiting him to tell him of our engagement. That was forty years ago now and I remember his pleasure that two of his students had found each other.

    In May 2011, the year that most of the 1968 team turned 60, we had a RFTT reunion in Victoria. I came from Newfoundland and Robert McDougall came from Bangladesh for the occasion. It was a delightful evening and we all felt that we were still some sort of a team. Talking to Pat today, she told me how much she and Glen appreciated the opportunity to meet together again. Sadly, it will be the last time…

    So much for history. Glen was the kind of teacher that one can only expect to meet once or twice in a lifetime. He helped me to understand what I am capable of and to have the courage to pursue my dreams. As a result, my life has been successful and very satisfying. I have done things, been places, and met people that will be memories to treasure forever. More than anything, Glen and Pat have shown the world what love and family are all about. I hope I can live by his example.

    I know that I will be only one of many people to enter comments here. For my part, I am proud to tell his family and the world what a fine man we have lost.

    Good bye Glen and thank you.

    Jim Dempsey, Flatrock, Newfoundland, January 3, 2015

  • Kris Lewis
    January 2, 2015

    Glen and Pat welcomed me into their home when Maureen and I went to the island for weaving workshops. I remember his joy for life whether it was challenging everyone to play boccia in the yard, creating wonderful works of wooden art, or just conversing around the table. I enjoyed his stories about their travels, their adventures, and the crazy dog. Glen had a generosity of spirit that he shared so easily. I feel lucky to have had the opportunity to know him.

  • Rebecca Lusk
    January 2, 2015

    Some of my most fond memories of Oak Bay High School were sitting beside Glen or across from him at the old crokinole table in the staff room. His love of life and love of family were apparent in each and every action. My sincere condolences reach out to his family and dear friends. He was a joyful man. His memory continues to elicit a smile….

  • Helen Schwantje
    January 2, 2015

    Glen was one of the true mentors of not only my academic education but also my emotional being. Its true, he would always say the right thing whether to build confidence or to challenge. Didnt work so well for my ball dribbling ability but certainly did for my biology. If not for him I know I would and could not have pushed myself to achieve in quite the same way. A happy man, a happy life. Wish I could have seen him in the past 40 odd years to tell him more.

  • Walene Whitaker
    January 2, 2015

    Mr. Atkinson was my sons TAG teacher at Oak Bay High. And what a wonderful caring man he was., beginning with the first day the just barely teenagers entered his classroom, measuring them on the wall, and every year thereafter charting their growth until they graduated. When my son arrived in grade 8 his father was dying of ALS and Mr. Atkinson was kind respectful, and caring. I remember him attending my husbands funeral, above and beyind exoectations. A truly inspiring teacher. And a rock at Oak Bay High.

  • Stephanie Kosty nee Rault
    January 2, 2015

    Mr. Atkinson was a tremendous teacher. His sense of humour, love of Neil Diamond, Raquel Welch, and those fetal pigs kept me coming back to class and inspired my love of biology. He brimmed with pride as his son taught us in the mid 90s, another gifted teacher.

    Thank you for sharing this beautiful tribute and snapshot of a life full of love and learning – he will clearly be deeply missed.

    With much love – Steph

  • Kathleen Rafferty
    January 2, 2015

    I am sitting here with tears in my eyes, looking at the paper. Glen was a prince of a man — a true gentleman and one of the very finest teachers I ever had the privilege to work with. I know I’m just one of literally thousands of people who were touched and inspired by his example.

    My condolences to all of his family. Glen lived life as we all should try to live it. I hope you will be comforted in knowing how much he was loved and respected.

    Kathleen Rafferty
    former colleague at Oak Bay High

  • Jerry Carter
    January 2, 2015

    It was an honour and a privilege to have known and worked with Glen. He was a gentleman, a great husband, father and grandfather to his family. He was a wonderful teacher that all his students adored, and was always ready to offer support and advice to younger teachers, such as I was when I arrived at Oak Bay. Some of the practices I have kept all these years came from his advice and example. We loved hearing his stories around the crokinole table at lunch, where he was a master of the game. I enjoyed his company more than once at the staff golf tourney at year-end. He will be sadly missed by everyone whose life he touched…students, colleagues, friends and family.

  • Clive and Monica Collins
    January 2, 2015

    We met Glen and Pat and their children in North Queensland, when we all teaching there. Glen wasted no time in collecting specimens for his biology lab back home, which sometimes found their way into the deep-freeze, and I can remember going out into the bush with him to record bird-calls using his home-made parabolic reflector. Fond memories include a camping holiday on a deserted beach on Orpheus Island (with Barry and Elaine Willis, above), off the Queensland coast, where it was so idyllic that we lost track of the days – no radio or cell-phones – and couldn’t remember when the boat was due to pick us up again. We subsequently stayed with Glen and Pat a couple of times in Victoria. At breakfast we would sit on the patio, with the humming-birds flitting around our heads to and from the honey-feeders. A measure of the love and respect in which he was held by his students came when Glen and Pat took us to a fireworks display at Butchart Gardens. From all around young – and youngish – people were waving and calling: “Hi, Mr. Atkinson, nice to see you”. He clearly had an effect on so many people’s lives. Glen Atkinson was a prince among men.
    Our thoughts are with Pat and the children and grand-children at this sad time.
    Clive and Monica Collins

  • Marilyn Erickson
    January 2, 2015

    It’s heartbreaking when you think you’ll see someone again who has been so influential in your life and find them suddenly and sadly gone. I haven’t been able to even comment properly on the sudden loss over the holidays of one of the most incredible men and mentors I’ve ever known. Glen Atkinson was my teacher in the 60’s and a reason for my love of science ever since. In the late 80’s I was fortunate to be hired at Oak Bay High and became the department science assistant….a dream job for me that saw me preparing the class labs, assisting in dissecting worms, frogs and fetal pigs, replacing the formaldehyde in the old specimens including human brains and enormous tape worms, preparing for class field trips and pond studies at Kinnickinick…his beautiful property at Prospect Lake. It was a crash refresher course in the sciences that lasted twelve amazing years with Glen and the entire science department, a sweet old boys club at the time. We spent much time in the prep lab listening to tapes of Neil Diamond, Stan and Garnet Rogers, and an African artist he’d discovered in his travels, on an old boom box, and I don’t know how many times I re-taped his sword, a metre stick he was seldom without, waving it at late-comers and gigglers. Glen loved life and people to the max; he felt at one with our natural world…he had such a passion for teaching and teenagers that you couldn’t help but learning in his classroom. I believe he inspired so many future teachers and scientists because of the depth of his knowledge, his dedication and excitement. He came to work happy every day. Former students often returned to his classroom, tens of years later sometimes, just to drop in and tell him how important he’d been in their life. My own son Kjell became enamoured of that prep lab in Grade 8 and I sometimes let him skip a class to come with us out to the pond and return with our bottle of pond water to see what we’d got under the microscope. Always a surprise and something you just never forgot. Kingdom, phylum, class, order, family, genus, species.

    When Kjell died suddenly in a car accident at the end of that year, 1992, Glen was my support and friend and graciously offered his peaceful property for Kjell’s Celebration of Life, which was so fitting as it was one of our favourite spots. In the following years I often escaped to that little lab prep room full of memories opposite Tag 13 for solace and a comforting hug from one of the kindest, most gentle, informed and interesting humans I’ve ever met. He was everyone’s Dad….the kind you wanted. The sort of person you always thought you’d see again with his pure voice and talent, his smile and sparkle, his travel stories, love for his family, pets, students, all species, the environment and the home he loved so much. The many comments on the Oak Bay Alumni site are a testament to how many ex-students felt the same way about him and never forgot their favourite teacher. Rest in perfect peace Pig Man. You will never be forgotten. You and Kjell probably already have your dip nets out!

  • Cheryl Thomas
    January 2, 2015

    Mr. Atkinson was one of the best teachers I ever had the pleasure of meeting and working with as Chair of the PAC. Having him teach my children, Ian Blaney and Megan Blaney was a blessing. I remember his retirement — the retirement party filled the gym and parents, teachers and kids were all teary. No one believed that he was actually going to retire.

    I remember him corralling people from the hallway with the meter stick sword, people trying to sneak into his classroom for TAG time and the big pink plastic pig that was kidnapped and went on a European tour with ransom demands being sent from many European cities.

    I also remember the two pairs of glasses — one on his face and one on his head and his pithy and valid comments made in staff meetings.

    I’m sure there are going to be a lot of people telling Mr. Atkinson stories over the next few days.

    Rest in Peace, Sir — you were one who engaged children in their learning and truly made a difference in so many lives.

    My condolences to the family and I trust that your many happy memories will sustain you. Glen is now the loving angel on your shoulder.

  • Eva Sennewald Eaton
    January 1, 2015

    Mr. Atkinson taught me Biology 11 and instilled in my a lifelong curiousity for th natural world.
    A gifted teacher and a great loss.

    Eva Sennwald Eaton Oak Bay Class of 1978
    Calgary, Alberta

  • Shawn Edwards
    January 1, 2015

    The Atkinson house was like a second home to me when I was growing up. Mike was my best friend (still is) and I remember many evenings playing games with the whole family in the living room on Glenairlie Drive. I remember playing with the button machine that Glen made for Reach for the Top practice. I remember the Atkinson family inviting me to go fishing with them on Cowichan River and me catching the biggest fish. I remember the dogs from Shadrack on. I remember the cat Glen trained to run around the living room before dinner. I remember the way Glen talked to us when Mike and I got into trouble. He was always reasonable and all was always forgiven. I can imagine what kind of teacher Glen was. He had a way of talking to you like an equal even if you were only 11. I’d talk about plants and he’d listen, then he’d talk about fossils and I’d be totally fascinated. Still am. Besides my own father, no man made a bigger positive impression on my life than did Glen Atkinson.

  • andrea meadows
    January 1, 2015

    Mr Atkinson was an amazing teacher. I had him for bio 11 in 95. He found a way to make learning. I will always remember his pig collection, i gave him one for Christmas to add to his display…
    I have thought of him many times since I graduated. He truely was an amazing man who cared very much about his students. He was my favorite teacher and will always have a piece of my heart.
    My thoughts and prayers go out to his family. The world has lost an amazing man and heaven has gained another angel.

  • Mark and Fern Perkins
    January 1, 2015

    We are so glad we were able to see Glen ( Mark’s cousin and our teacher) at cousin Lil’s 90th birthday. He looked well and we never expected him to leave us so quickly! He has been a wonderful teacher to us as well. In later years we worked together at UVic as faculty colleagues. My most grateful memory of Mr. Atkinson, as my teacher, before he became my cousin by marriage, was in the spring of 1968 when he accompanied me to the funeral of my friend and classmate Ritchie Hall, just before we were to graduate. Ritchie was killed by a drunk driver who crossed the centre line and was also from my Métis Nation family. Mr. A helped me raise money to dedicate a large fish tank for the biology lab in Ritchie’s name, with a memorial plaque to Richard Hall. Mr. A’s compassion was as strong as his sense of humour and was sustained by his strong faith. His life on earth has been well lived and he is now in the company of that great cloud of witnesses who compassed him about and cheered him on as he finished his race on earth with patience, keeping his eyes fixed on the author and finisher of his faith. He has been a good and faithful servant, doing everything to the best of his ability, to bring honour to his Lord.

  • Barry Elaine willis
    January 1, 2015

    We first met the Atkinson family in 1974 when they came to Atherton in Queensland to teach at the schools. What a delightful family they are and we shared many camping trips and barbecues with them and party games they organised. We have stayed with them in Canada a few times. On our last visit we watched Pat and Glen practise their singing and music in readiness for performing at the Aged Care Home. Our family enjoyed two Christmases with them while we were on exchange in 1989 and the kids were totally spoilt. Glen was well loved and respected by all of us and will be sadly missed. Lots of love to Pat and the family. Pat recently invited us to come to the Atkinson Hotel again soon. We are all very sad at this time.

  • Sarah Smith
    January 1, 2015

    Dear Pat and Family – I am so incredibly sorry for your loss.
    The difficulty with having such a charismatic and wonderful man in your life for so many years is that his loss will be felt that much more keenly.
    I so enjoyed catching up with you both at the Cridge, and both of my parents (Ken and Frankie Smith) are incredibly saddened at this news.
    He was a fantastic teacher, a wonderful friend to so many, a great singer, and an incredible man.
    You are in my prayers.
    Sarah Smith

  • Bevin Bigalky
    January 1, 2015

    He was a good man, a man who earned and deserved his place. He was a good husband and father, a teacher, an adventurer, a seeker of knowledge. To have cared so much for others and that they should know their world and to have shown others how to live and learn will be remembered by so many. Such a life, such a man. Thank you, Glen—you are always in our hearts.

  • Dan Soberg
    January 1, 2015

    Although we have known Glen for only a couple of years, we quickly learned to love him and his gentle soul. I first met him when he came to our house to work with Merrilee on photoshop. Although serious learning took place, even with homework, there was much teasing and laughter.

    I was thrilled when Glen invited me to learn how to work on his lathe. It was after our work, over coffee and muffins or a Pat made lunch, that we quickly realized how much we had in common: teaching, basketball coaching, bird watching, fossil collecting, travelling, love for Captain Cook, crazy golf shots and singing. He loved to speak of his family’s accomplishments, travelling with them and traditional house parties where the elders would compete against the kids. I believe that this Christmas, the elders won.

    He had a wonderful sense of humour and loved to banter about questionable bird identification, goofy golf shots or holding bowls up to the light to check for their thinness.

    Glen was a master wood turner and perfectionist when it came to finishing his beautiful pieces. I realized this when he took out a dusty old magnifying glass to look for scratches on my work. I thought that he was joking and later had many laughs about his inspections. Our lathe work was often interrupted as one of us would start telling another story. Glen offered to help me with a special project. My “Little Brother” had an unfinished lamp base which he had started in a high school wood turning class. After Bob passed away last April, Glen patiently guided me to uncover its beauty.

    I was lucky to know Glen, even for a short time. When I turn the lamp on in the morning, I remember them both. Thanks Glen.

    Dan & Merrilee

  • Barbara Miller
    January 1, 2015

    There are times that an individual’s contribution to the lives of others goes unrecognized but I think Mr.Atkinson knew he touched many. Thanks to him I developed an interest in the sciences and went on to an undergraduate and graduate program in nursing. He kept you engaged and focused.
    He was a gift to many but no words can take away the pain of loss to his family. Know that he was admired, respected and carried in the hearts of many. My condolences to his family.
    Barbara Miler Oak Bay High School Class of 81

  • Noni Battye
    January 1, 2015

    So sorry for your loss. Mr. A was a great teacher and mentor. His impact lives on in the many whom he inspired (myself included) both in the classroom and outside of it. Best wishes. Noni (Grad ’94 and now teacher)

  • margaret metcalfe(mainwaring)
    January 1, 2015

    I am so saddened to hear of Glen’s passing. He was a wonderful teacher and coach. I have such fond memories of my days at Oak Bay especially playing basketball for Glen and all the laughs we had. He also was a wonderful singer and sang at our grad ceremony(1973). My condolences to Patricia and all of the family.

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