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David "Dave" James Atkin

David (Dave) James Atkin, 65, died on February 3rd, 2021.


He was raised in Des Moines and was a headstrong and athletic youth. He attended Lincoln High School and earned his GED in 1973. At Lincoln, he met his best friend and soulmate, Traci (McKibben) Atkin, and was hooked for life. They married in 1976 and made their home in a tight-knit neighborhood on the south side. He was a devoted and doting husband who was never far from her side.


Dave went to work for the US Postal Service at the age of 22 as a mail handler, then letter carrier, for a total of 31 years. He was a proud member of the National Association of Letter Carriers Union, Branch #352, serving as a Union steward and making many lifelong friends along the way. Dave’s personality was warm and infectious, and he was never too busy or too distracted to have a meaningful conversation.

Dave felt most at home in the great outdoors, golfing, fishing, and hunting with his son Chris, and his dogs Buck and Capone. He spent countless hours with them in the field and on the water.


He was an amazing and underrated baseball coach with a way of connecting with and leaving an indelible impression on his players. He was particularly proud of the fact that he was able to partner with his son to coach his grandson, Tate.


Dave was the true definition of a family man and was fiercely protective of those he loved most. He took his job as a husband, father, father-in-law, brother, uncle, and grandparent very seriously. He felt particularly blessed to be a grandfather to three grandchildren and tackled being a grandpa with devotion, love, and compassion, and a healthy dose of wit and humor.


He was preceded in death by father Bruce Atkin, mother Shirley (Stephen) Atkin, and father-in-law William McKibben. He is survived by his devoted wife of 44 years, Traci (McKibben) Atkin of Des Moines, son Chris (Holly Thorson) of Indianola, brother Michael (Susan Host) of Des Moines, sister Janet (Atkin) Hicks of Grovetown, GA, nephews John and Robert, nieces Tenille Hamilton and Jennifer Hicks, and grandchildren Taten Christopher, Autumn Marie, and Lyla Jo Atkin.


Dave was deeply loved, and his death has left an absence in our lives that will never be filled. His impact was wide-ranging and immeasurable. A memorial service will take place in the early Spring. Details will be shared at a later time. In lieu of flowers, donations are welcome to the St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital.