John Atkisson, an attorney in Washington, D.C., and a trans-Atlantic sailor, died of lung cancer Feb. 19, 2010. He was 68.
John grew up in Sanger, Calif., and attended Tamalpais High School in Marin County. He entered Princeton with the Class of ’64, but transferred to UC, Berkeley, from which he graduated in 1966. In 1968, while in law school at San Francisco State, he managed the presidential campaign of Eugene McCarthy in San Francisco County. John went on to practice trial law in San Francisco before relocating to Washington in 1975 to join the staff of the House Select Committee on Intelligence. At the time of his death, he was in private practice and, as a recovering alcoholic, was active in programs that support recovery.
An avid and experienced sailor, he set out in 2005 to fulfill his lifelong dream of sailing the Atlantic circle, from the United States to Europe and back, aboard his 32-foot sloop Kestrel.
John is survived by his widow, Kathy Sawyer Atkisson, a freelance writer formerly with The Washington Post, and a sister, Brooke Atkisson. We regret not having seen more of John over the years and extend sincere condolences to his family.