“Each evening from December to December before you drift to sleep upon your cot, think back on all the tales that you remember in Camelot.” (Frederick Lowe)
PERKINSVILLE, Vt. – Dana (Dan) David Atkinson, musician and humanist, born Nov. 24, 1954 in Mount Holly, N.J., died in Perkinsville, Vt. on April 1, 2022. He is survived by his wife Alisa Van Domburg Scipio, siblings Sid Mumford, Deedee Wigler, Phoebe Atkinson, Stacey Fillebrown, and Perry Atkinson, multiple nieces and nephews, and a large selection of friends from all walks of life.
Dan had a quick and delicious wit. His intelligence, insight, and compassion were shared with family, friends, and pets. His curiosity was boundless. As a systems thinker, Dan immersed himself in learning about and exploring ideas from a variety of social and political movements. He was very much interested in socioeconomic structures as they related to the areas of ecological and social justice.
Dan held the role of family historian and documented the service of his father, Dave, a WWII veteran of the battle of Iwo Jima. Additionally, Dan traced his family history and shared the extensive findings with his siblings and extended family.
Dan was a prolific guitarist and was happiest with a guitar in his hand, whether jamming with his friends or providing a melodious backdrop to whatever activities were unfolding. He composed a large body of unique songs and frequently referred to these unfinished tunes as “works in progress.” Bringing together his love of music and training in electronics, Dan was a member of the “site crew” at the Falcon Ridge folk festival. In the visual arts, his strengths of creativity and humor found a myriad of pathways of artistic expression stemming from his appreciation of John Lennon’s earliest sketches to M.C. Esher’s extraordinarily complex graphics.
There is no better way to remind us of him than by the kindnesses he gave to the world. To his wife, siblings, nieces, nephews, and vast community of friends he left as a beloved and cherished human being who led a most remarkable life. Dan was grateful for and proud of his decades long sobriety and was always ready to pass it on, lending a hand where needed, as a fellow in recovery.
Steve Leder writes in “The Beauty of What Remains,” “the pain of our loss is the greatest evidence we can offer of the importance and meaning of life.” Keeping with his wishes, there will be no memorial service apart from a celebration of life, which will be held at a future date. Until that time, please gather your family and friends together and celebrate your own lives; keep the “home fires burning,” as Dan always did.
We love you dearly, Dan, and you are precious to so many on this earth. If gratitude is the heart’s memory, our hearts are filled with appreciation for you even as we mourn your passing.
Fredrick Buechner wrote, “The grace of God means something like, ‘Here is your life. You might never have been, but you are because the party wouldn’t have been complete without you.’”