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Robert Atkins

1931 - 2013 | Obituary Condolences
Robert Atkins Obituary
Robert Sheldon Atkins, 81, a long-time Chicago litigator and public servant who argued one case before the U.S. Supreme Court, died yesturday. In the 1960s and early 1970s, he served as an Assistant U.S. Attorney and State of Illinois Assistant Attorney General, prosecuting white collar crime, price-fixing, and big business conspiracies. After establishing and leading the state's anti-trust division, the Chicago Sun Times called him (at 5'8) "a little giant-killer." As a private litigator for three decades, Atkins worked with the Better Government Association, fighting corruption in Chicago and Illinois politics and government. Upon his retirement in recent years, Atkins taught constitutional law to elementary school students and presented himself as an inveterate letter-writer and gadfly in the Evanston community where he and his beloved wife, Patricia "Patty" Atkins made their home the past half-century. Son of Allen and Hattie Atkins, he grew up in Chicago, graduated from Senn High School, University of Wisconsin, and Northwestern University Law School. As a prodigious teenage violinist, Atkins once won the Morris B. Sachs Amateur Hour (the Chicagoland "American Idol" of its time) and was the concertmaster of his high school orchestra. After a hiatus, he performed various violin recitals on the North Shore for the past 30 years. In addition to his wife, Patricia, he is survived by two children, Norman Atkins (of New York City) and Jennifer Atkins (Montclair, NJ); their spouses Angie Atkins and Alvaro Donado; sister, Barbara Ruhman (Chicago); and five grandchildren: Zohar Atkins (Oxford), Ariel Atkins (San Francisco), Shira Atkins (New York City) and Paloma and Elia Donado (Montclair) Donations can be made in honor of Robert Atkins to: Noble Network of Charter Schools (External Affairs Dept), 1 North State St., Floor 7-L, Chicago, IL 60602. Chapel Service Tuesday 1:30PM at The Weinstein Funeral Home 111 Skokie Blvd Wilmette. Interment Memorial Park Cemetery Skokie. For info 847-256-5700
Published in Chicago Tribune on Oct. 21, 2013
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