Virginia Mary Joost Atkinson, 86, of Pleasant Grove passed away Wednesday, June 12, 2019. She was born August 19th, 1932, in Salt Lake City to John Huegli Joost and Martha Ramseyer, who had immigrated from Switzerland in the late 1920’s. When she was two, the family bought a dairy farm in Midway, Utah, where they lived until she was 18 years old. Virginia was the oldest living child of four children. Ethel Martha, the first born, died at 23 days old. Virginia was followed by John R and Barbara Gale Joost.
Virginia started riding her horse at age two and would rather be out doors than doing inside chores. She and her brother, Johnny, shared all kinds of childhood adventures, including driving the Model A with him sitting on the floor running the gas and brake while she knelt in the seat and steered. They have remained close companions throughout their lives.
After graduating from Wasatch High School in Heber in 1949, she attended BYU to pursue a nursing degree. While at BYU, she met and fell in love with Robert Keith Liddle. They were married in the Manti temple in 1952. The nursing degree would have to wait. Their first three children, Susan, Bob and Ann, were born while Robert finished his schooling and entered the Air Force as an officer. The family was stationed in Texas where Jan was born and then New Mexico where Sabra and Sharman joined the family. These six children were born within eight years. They lost Sharman to encephalitis when he was only six weeks old. Shortly after, Robert left the Air Force. Virginia’s father and brother had traded the Midway farm for one in Stevensville, Montana, so Virginia and Robert moved their family to Montana to help with the farm. Carrie was born and then Shauna completed the family.
Virginia and Robert divorced in 1972, and she moved to Rexburg, Idaho, to continue her nursing degree, which she completed, and then worked as a registered nurse at Madison Hospital. She married Jamey Kent Wooten in the Idaho Falls Temple in the fall of 1976. Virginia, Jamey, Sabra, Carrie and Shauna moved to Provo, UT, in 1978 where Virginia worked Labor and Delivery at Utah Valley Hospital. Shortly after moving to Provo, Jamey was diagnosed with cancer. Virginia later changed jobs and began working at Utah Convalescent Center in Orem, where she became a director of nurses. As Jamey’s health continued to decline, Virginia gave up her position as director of nurses and opened a convalescent home in her own house. This enabled her to care for Jamey when he needed regular care until he passed away on June 21st, 1986. She closed her convalescent home and began working at American Fork Hospital. While working in the delivery unit there, she was able to assist in delivering one of her own grandchildren.
A mutual friend introduced her to Reed Doty Atkinson, who had lost his wife three years earlier. They began their life together on June 24, 1988. Virginia and Reed served as a senior missionary couple in South Africa from October 1990 To April 1992. Upon their return, they joined a motorcycle gang, the Temple Riders, and traveled to Calgary, Canada, Boston, California, Nauvoo, and Hawaii. Virginia loved doing genealogy and is responsible for temple work being done for literally thousands of people. She had many spiritual experiences while engaged in this work. They both loved serving as temple workers in the Provo and Mt Timpanogos temples. After being inseparable companions for 31 years, Reed passed away June 2, 2019, with Virginia following her sweetheart on June 12, 2019, just 10 days later.
Virginia’s legacy includes a posterity of 8 children, 40 grandchildren, 140 great grand-children, and she loved Reed’s family as her own.
Funeral services will be held Wednesday, June 19, 2019 at 11:00 a.m. in the Grove Creek Seventh Ward Chapel, 942 North 500 East, Pleasant Grove. Family and friends may attend viewings Tuesday evening from 6:00 – 8:00 p.m. in the Olpin Family Mortuary Chapel, 494 South 300 East, Pleasant Grove and Wednesday morning from 9:30 – 10:45 a.m. prior to the services. Interment will be in the Pleasant Grove City Cemetery. Condolences may be sent to the family at www.olpinmortuary.com.
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