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Phillip Dale Atkinson

May 15, 2020 | 6 comments

Phillip Dale Atkinson was born on December 14, 1987, in Wilkes –Barre, PA but grew up in the South, and he was the epitome of Southern Charm.

Phillip’s passing from this life on May 9, 2020, has deprived this world of not only his charm. He not only had a large variety of interests but he was unusually knowledgeable about them. Through his parents, dad Harmon “Dale” Atkinson and mom, Mary (Mattie) Atkinson, he was introduced to skiing in Colorado, flying airplanes, riding motorcycles, deep sea fishing, parasailing, exploring the Grand Canyon, looking for gold in the Mohave Desert. Together, they also attended NASCAR races, built opulent homes, and explored life through intelligent conversation and abundant laughter – all of which became the foundation for Phillip’s lifelong exploration of knowledge and meaning, which he pursued in his own inimitable ways of listening and observing, learning about history, philosophy, and world events. He had a unique way of weaving meaning into ordinary life experiences which created a delightful and sometimes surprising insight and connection.

Phillip leaves behind an impressive group of those who loved him, and whom he loved. He is survived by his mother and advocate, Mary (Mattie) Atkinson of La Crosse, with whom he shared a profound devotion; his father, Harmon Dale Atkinson (Tammy) of Richmond, KY; his beloved sister Sara Carolyn Atkinson of Clayton, NC with whom he shared a deep admiring love, well beyond just sibling attachment; his adored daughter, Ava, the “bright star” of his life and her mother Danielle.

Phillip’s “Mom #2”, Debbie (Lousbrough) Mosling, was indeed another mom and he loved and appreciated her endlessly. She and Phillip’s fishing partner, Karl Melnik, added much to his enjoyment of life.

To Jamie Grandt, “The love of my life and best friend”, he left a special message: ‘We had our trials and tribulations, our ups and downs, but through all of it we LOVED, we laughed, and we made life together. Those times will be forever missed and mourned, until we meet again, my love. This is not goodbye but simply see you again.”

There is also Grandma, Pat (Jacobus) and Grandpa Bernie Mattie (deceased), who was a retired La Crosse Firefighter Captain and who indulged Phillip’s endless curiosity with exposure to a love for military history, pyrotechnics, panning for gold – and also a bond of hilarious mischief.

Phillip is missed by his family: Aunt Annette (Mattie) Terry Yoshizumi, cousins Kris and Joey; Aunt Ann (Mattie) Dan Garity; cousins Marcie and James. Also Uncle Mike Mattie and extra-special Aunt Kris (wow, did he love you!); cousins Charlie, Danielle, and Michele; Uncle Ed Mattie and Carrie; cousins Cheyanne, Rudy, Magdalena, and Zach.

His family in South Carolina also will miss him deeply. Grand-mom Carolyn and Grandad, Harmon Atkinson – both deceased. The wit and love that Phillip shared with his Grand-mom was immeasurable and that will be a joyous reunion! Uncle Herman and Aunt Ruth, cousins, Tracie, Malissa, and Dawn. Uncle Dennis Atkinson, Uncle Sid Atkinson, Aunt Deanna (Dan) Williams, cousins Lexi and Paislee.

This avid fisherman and outdoorsman, who took flying lessons at the age of 10, who was quiet and polite but who never stopped reaching out for more adventure, has left a mark on so very many people that he won’t be forgotten. The many friends in his life were brothers who truly loved each other – Jacob, Andy, Casey, Ronnie, MK, Valerie-who passed too soon.  Despite all the changes that happen along the path of life, the bonds between these friends were strong and will be carried on in his memory.

Waiting to greet him will be his maternal grandfather Bernie Mattie, paternal grand-dad Harmon and Grand-mom Carolyn Atkinson. Phillip’s younger brother, Brian Dale Atkinson, who died at only 4 weeks of age in 1989, will be in his big brother’s embrace now. His faithful dog Sweetie Pie will be there to share the reunion.

A private family Celebration of Life will be held at a later date. In lieu of flowers, memorials are preferred and can be sent to 2325 Ferry Street, La Crosse WI 54601.  Coulee Region Cremation Group is assisting the family.

“Remember me for the good I did, the laughter I brought, and know that in my own way I loved you all with my whole heart” – Phillip



  1. Stephen Clearwater

    Sorry we didn’t get to know you better Philip. We will always have a place in our heart through Ava.❤️❤️❤️

  2. Tarri Vandeleest

    Mary I am so sorry that you are having to endure this loss. Our children should never go before us. Please know you are in my thoughts and prayers.
    Tarri Vandeleest

    • Rosie Clearwater

      So sorry you are gone too soon!!! Ava enjoyed her visit with you last Thanksgiving, she will carry that memory of you forever!!! God Bless You & May you R.I.P.!!! My deepest condolences to your parents & family!!! Danielle & Ava will keep your memory forever!!!

  3. Ava

    I will miss you Dad, wish we could of got to spend more time together. Love Ava ❤️

  4. Danielle

    I will always remember the good times and adventures we had. I promise to keep your memories alive and tell stories to our daughter!!! You always made everyone laugh you will truly be miss Phillip we love you❤️

  5. Aunt Deanna

    I love you, Phillip. I have so many fond memories of you when you were young- with grandmom and granddad. You became such a handsome man. My love to your mom and dad and whole beloved family. God bless.


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