Obituary of Richard Atkins |

Obituary of Richard Atkins

Richard “Papa” Atkins died doing what he loved most, snow skiing in the mountains at age 75. He passed peacefully surrounded by his family and friends at Renown Hospital, Reno Nevada on January 15th, 2020.

Rick is survived by his son Aaron Atkins and his wife Nina Atkins, his daughter Amy Barber and her husband Jamie Barber, his three grandchildren, Evi, Aksel, and Walker, his father-in-law Gene Barth, his two cousins Galen & Radley McCord and his three dogs along with many other family and close friends.

Rick was born September 10, 1944 in Marcus, Iowa, while his father was serving as a pilot in WWII. Rick graduated from High School in 1962 and married Terry Barth on October 6, 1972.

He loved his children Aaron and Amy, their spouses Nina and Jamie, and his 3 grandchildren, Evi, Ansel and Walker, as well as his 3 dogs that were never far from his side. Rick had a thirst for adventure that was unprecedented which was a running thread throughout his life. He was an expert alpine skier and his resume in the ski industry was impressive. He taught skiing in Europe in his 20’s in St. Anton Austria, and continued his career in the Lake Tahoe area. He was well known in the community helping start the Diamond Peak Ski Education Foundation, and coach the Nevada Union High School ski team for 28 years with his great friend Ken Ramirez. Rick is a huge part of why the Nevada Union High School Ski Team exists today, and virtually every ski team banner hung in the gym is a result of his coaching. Rick loved mountain biking, water skiing, deep sea free diving, restoring his 65 mustang, riding his Harley Davidson and adventure traveling with his family.

Owner of Atkins and Son Construction, Rick just retired from building custom homes. His expertise and beautiful artisanship led to the building of over 30 gorgeous homes in Northern California including Tahoe City, Incline Village and Serene Lakes areas. A friend to many contractors and craftsmen in Northern California, his love of building and of those in his industry will be missed.

When people remember Rick they say, “He was my hero”, “a legend” a “teacher”, a “friend”, “when I’m his age I want to be like Rick”, a “mentor”, “he was like another father to me” and more. Rick’s influence ran deep with his peers and will be dearly missed by his family, friends and community.

The celebration of life is scheduled for Thursday, February 13th at Sugar Bowl Ski Resort, Mt. Judah Lodge, 4 pm-7 pm. We will be skiing in the afternoon in Papa’s honor between 1-4, in order to receive a ticket please email us at At 3:45 pm all skiers and riders are invited to join us at the top of Judah Lift for a group commemorative run. At 4pm all are welcome to attend and celebrate Rick’s life. In lieu of flowers, please send donations made out to the Nevada Union Ski team and mailed to Nevada Union Athletics, 11761 Ridge Rd, Grass Valley, CA 95945. Condolences can be sent to

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