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David Atcheson


1926 - 2015
David Atcheson Obituary
David M. Atcheson

David McKinlay Atcheson, age 89, died peacefully in Berkeley on Saturday, April 25, 2015, following a brief illness. The eldest of 4 brothers, Dave was born in Chicago on February 7, 1926, to Annie Gertrude Morrow and Frederick Roberts Atcheson and grew up in the Chicago area. His parents both emigrated from Ireland, and Dave proudly maintained his ties to his Irish family throughout his life.

Dave graduated from New Trier high school in 1944 and immediately enlisted in the Army, serving in Europe as World War II ended. He returned to Europe following his discharge to travel by bike in France. Dave graduated from Stanford University in 1950 with a degree in Economics, and from Harvard Law School in 1953. He practiced law with the San Francisco firm of Pillsbury & Dunlap, later Pillsbury, Nagel & Atcheson, for almost 42 years, until his retirement in 1995.

Dave married Marian Noelke in 1953; they had 2 daughters, Catherine and Carol, and a son, James, who all grew up in San Mateo. He married Cecile Applegate in 1991 and, following her death, JoEllen Brean in 1999. Dave was a loving father, stepfather, and grandfather to all the members of his extended family.

A gregarious, appreciative, and thoughtful man, Dave thoroughly enjoyed his family, colleagues, and friends. He was a wonderful conversationalist who genuinely listened to others. A truly great storyteller, Dave could recount past events in remarkable detail. He was a devoted member of the Bohemian Club and served as chair of its membership committee from 1985-87 and as president of the club from 1991-93. He also served on the boards of several civic organizations including the San Francisco Ballet Association.

Dave's lifelong love of baseball began with the Cubs and flirted dangerously with the Dodgers, but the Giants really owned his heart. He found it difficult to endure the tension of watching their recent post-season games live, preferring to watch the replay after he knew the outcome. He never ceased to marvel at their 3 championships in 5 years.

Dave is survived by his wife JoEllen Brean Atcheson of Berkeley; brother Charles Atcheson of Seattle; daughters Catherine Atcheson of Alameda and Carol Spooner of Paris, France, and son James Atcheson of Mertzon, Texas; grandchildren Max and Lucas Spooner and Hannah and Matthew Fritze; former wife Marian Atcheson of San Mateo; stepchildren Janet Nash, Jay Applegate, Kelly Applegate, and Alison York; and 8 stepgrandchildren. Dave is pre-deceased by his parents; wife Cecile; and brothers Bill and Fred.

The family plans a private memorial gathering at a later date.
Published in San Francisco Chronicle from Apr. 29 to May 3, 2015
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