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Gordon Atkinson played big role in building of new Pollock

Gordon F. Atkinson, age 89, formerly of Pollock, passed away Saturday, Aug. 3, 2019 at the Good Samaritan Society Center in Oakes, N.D., where he and his wife Marilyn have been living since November of 2018.
A celebration of life memorial service will be held at 11 a.m., Friday, Aug. 9, 2019, at the Pollock Memorial Presbyterian Church in Pollock, with the Rev. Floyd Haan officiating.
Gordon was born Oct. 31, 1929, in rural Highmore, to Wes and Florence (Shaw) Atkinson.
In 1931, his family moved to Pollock, where his mother and father farmed on the Smith Ranch, west of Pollock. They moved to Pollock in 1945 where his parents owned and operated Pollock Food Market and Locker Plant. Gordon worked for his parents as a butcher. They closed the store in 1954, during the time the Town of Pollock was moved up a hill to the south because of the coming Oahe Reservoir on the Missouri River.
He attended elementary school at Kehn Rural School west of Pollock and graduated from Pollock High School in 1948.
On Sept. 4, 1950 he married Marilyn Carlson, daughter of Harold and Thelma (Warner) Carlson of Pollock.
When the Town of Pollock was moved, Gordon and Marilyn’s house was one of the first homes moved from old Pollock to the new town, and Gordon worked for Lester Jones, plumbing and laying blocks for the homes being moved to, or being built in, the new town.
Later, his father-in-law, Harold Carlson, opened Carlson Manufacturing, a cabinet making company in the new town and Gordon joined as a carpenter. The company later added manufacturing of fiberglass boats, which Gordon helped build. Many of the kitchen cabinets in Pollock and the surrounding area were built by Carlson Manufacturing.
In 1965, Carlson Manufacturing was closed and in the same building, the Carlsons and Gordon and Marilyn opened Pollock Super Valu, a grocery store, meat market and butcher shop, where Gordon worked as the butcher. He and Marilyn later took over sole ownership of the business from the Carlsons. Gordon’s old-style country sausage was one of the most popular items they sold and former Pollock residents would order large quantities of the sausage to take home when they came to visit.
After a fire destroyed the inside of the store in 1978, they rebuilt, opening only the custom butcher shop. A few years later, they closed the meat market. In semi-retirement, Gordon and Marilyn worked part-time in the mailroom at the Mobridge Tribune before fully retiring. They lived in Pollock until 2017, when they became residents of the Mobridge Care and Rehabilitation Center in Mobridge. When that center closed in 2018, they moved to the center in Oakes, where their daughter Lori Kunrath and her family live.
Gordon was very active in the Town of Pollock, serving as a volunteer fireman and chief of the department. He was also a member of the Pollock Masonic Lodge, the Jaycees, the Pollock Men’s Club and the Stateline Snowmobile Club.
In 1975, Gordon was elected mayor of Pollock and in 1976, during the U.S. Bicentennial, he hosted Gov. Arthur Link of North Dakota and Gov. Richard Kneip of South Dakota when a flotilla of dignitaries and representatives of both states traveled up and down the old Missouri River, meeting in Pollock for a joint celebration of the bicentennial. In the Bicentennial Parade that was held in Pollock, Gordon rode a horse, something he enjoyed doing as a boy when his brother Glenn and he rode horses in the hills above the Smith Ranch.
He was a lifelong member of the Pollock Memorial Presbyterian church, serving in many capacities, including elder. He helped work on the construction of the new church when it was built in the new town of Pollock and also used his former block and brick laying skills to help build the structure for the new elevator that was added to the church in 2009.
Throughout his life, Gordon loved to hunt, fish, boat and watch wildlife. He enjoyed the old Missouri River and then the Oahe Reservoir after the river was dammed at Pierre. He relished going boating with his grandchildren to fish for walleye and hunting with his family. He also loved sports and so enjoyed attending sporting events in which his children, and later, grandchildren, participated.
Although he had opportunities to leave Pollock for work elsewhere, he never wanted to leave his beloved hometown.
Gordon was preceded in death by his parents, his brothers, Glenn and Darrell, and his sister, Marilyn.
He is survived by: his wife, Marilyn; his son Larry (Roberta) Atkinson of Mobridge; his daughter, Lynn (Mark) Murphy of Aberdeen; his daughter, Lori (Tim) Kunrath of Oakes, N.D.; his sister, Margie of Richfield, Minn.; his grandsons, Corey (Jennifer) Atkinson of Sioux Falls, Jordan (Stephanie) Murphy of Fargo, N.D., and Matthew (fiancée, Lakyn Boe) Kunrath of Oakes; his granddaughters, Jennifer (Kyle) Porisch of Huron, S.D., Amy (Josh) Joy of Fargo, N.D., JoAan (Jason) Fuhrer of Niceville, Fla., Lisa (Jason) Fuccello of Sioux Falls, and Michelle (Jarret) Schroeder of Oakes. His also survived by 11 great-grandsons and four great-granddaughters.
Gordon’s cremains will later be interred at Spring Valley Cemetery north of Pollock.
Kesling Funeral Home of Mobridge is in charge of the arrangements.