After a four hour flight from McGrath to Fairbanks, AK in the middle of winter, Robert Lewis Sand was born on January 10, 1945. He was only 5 lbs. 5 oz. and grew up to be 6’2”! When he was 5 years old his mother married Roy Atkins and the family moved to Bethel. This is when his name changed to Atkins.
Robert “Hub” Atkins joined the army in 1964. He was honorably discharged 3 years later. He had spent most of his military career in Germany and from there loved to talk about the food and the beer!
Soon after returning home to Bethel, he started work at the FAA as a maintenance mechanic. He worked there until he retired in the fall of 1994. During this time he met the love of his life, Carol Demientieff of Holy Cross, and they married on May 16, 1970 at the Catholic Church in Bethel. This was during the flood time and his friend and co-worker Elias Venes and others had to build a ramp from the road to the VFW hall where the reception was held. The ramp was made of planks on top of floating drums tied together. Needless to say, several people accidentally went swimming later on in the evening!
Hub and Carol had two beautiful children: Adrienne in 1971 and Robb in 1977. He loved living in Bethel where he went boating, fishing and camping in the summer and snowmobiling in the winter. He loved going to the “tree pile” with his wife by snowmachine, building a fire and roasting “bratwurst”.
Then on June 19, 2009, he was admitted to Providence Hospital for heart failure. The doctor said he would have to have a heart transplant! He declined that and began a rigorous battle of medicine, change of eating habits (no salt!), and procedures (pacemaker) to help his heart function. He even moved to Wasilla in 2014 to be closer to the doctors. Ten years later on June 25, 2019 at 10:20pm, he succumbed to his long illness. He died at home with his loving wife, Carol of 49 years by his side.
Robert “Hub” L. Atkins is survived by his wife, Carol; daughter Adrienne Bottari and son, Robb Atkins of Wasilla; granddaughters: Lynzie (Gilbert) Stushek and Rainee Gilbert of Wasilla and Reina Atkins of Yokohama, Japan; grandsons: Kilty Gilbert of Wasilla and James R. Bottari of Wasilla; twin great granddaughters: Avery and Brylee Stushek of Wasilla; Uncle William Godfrey, cousins James and Ryan Godfrey of Mantua, New Jersey, mother-in-law Mary Demientieff of Holy Cross, and many sisters and brothers-in-law and nieces and nephews. He is preceded in death by his stepfather Roy Atkins, his mother Betty Atkins, and his brother, Jared “Jed” Atkins.