Hollis Atwood Obituary (1941-2021) – Grand Junction, CO
April 25, 1941 – October 7, 2021
Hollis Fred Atwood was born on April 25, 1941 at home in Vernal, Utah, to Melvin “Cap” Atwood and Philomena McDonald. His parents divorced when he was young, and he divided the time between Cap and his stepmother, Vee, their home in Vernal, Utah, and his mother’s home in Clifton, Colorado. He began working at a young age, setting bowling pins, shining shoes and digging graves.
Hollis joined Marine Corp when he turned 17 and served Okinawa on two tours for four years. When he returned home, he was working in the Gilsonite mines in Bonanza, Utah. He married Sarah Peterson and was widowed just 19 days later after a tragic accident. He married Janet Liddell on April 27, 1963 and they remained married for 58 years until he died at home on October 7, 2021.
After the Marines, Hollis began working as a Federal Predator Control Agent in Wyoming, catching and hunting coyotes and bobcats for the Sheep Ranchers. He moved to the Craig District, where he also worked as a federal hunter. At that time he held the record for the youngest federal trapper with the highest number of catches. Hunting and fishing was his passion and occupation.
In 1965, Hollis and Janet Atwood founded Hunts and together they spent the next 35 years bringing hunters for moose, deer, lions and bears to customers from across the US and several other countries. He loved the hunt and especially the training and work of his hunting dogs for lions and bears. He was well known in his profession and had stories about him published in hunting magazines. He said: “Every man is entitled to a good dog, a good horse and a good woman – in that order.” He was fortunate to have more than one good dog, more than one good horse, and the very best woman.
While Hollis was a rough and tenacious nature lover, she also had a soft and sentimental side. He wrote songs and poems, enjoyed country music and danced with Janet, and loved films – especially history and war stories and documentaries. He was interested in world affairs and politics and was always up to date on current events. Hollis never knew a stranger and dealt with people everywhere. He was very generous and often housed family, friends, and even strangers in need.
Hollis had a strong Christian faith and he did not tolerate taking, lying, or stealing the Lord’s name in vain. He taught his children the value of hard work and the importance of truth, trust, and faith. He grew up with his mother in the Assembly of God Church, but the Atwood side was LDS membership so he referred to himself as a Pentecostal Mormon.
After retiring from the hunting business, Hollis and Janet moved from Kannah Creek to Dinosaur, Colorado, and Hollis worked for the US Fish and Wildlife Service in Ouray, Utah and Brown’s Park, CO and for Dinosaur National Monument that summer. In 2008, he and Janet moved to Fruita, CO, and wintered near the family in Arizona and St. George, Utah. Every road, trail, lake, and stream from northeast Utah through western Colorado had been explored many times over the years by Hollis and Janet.
Hollis’ surviving family includes his 58-year-old wife, Janet Liddell Atwood; Daughters Holly Smith, Marti Graff (George Graff), and Lexine Atwood; Stepdaughter Julie Molter; Grandson, Lance Koch, Uriah Atwood, and Chants Graff (Devyn Graff); Granddaughters, Laurie Graff, Kelly Graff, Maya Graff, and Haylee Ann Graff; Great-grandchildren, BillyHollis Koch, Ely Guifoyle, Oly Guifoyle, and Charley Ann Graff; Brother, Robert Ellinger (Joann Ellinger); Sister Twilla Cochran; Sister-in-law Jan Gardner and stepmother Ethel Atwood.
Hollis precedes his wife Sarah Peterson Atwood in death; Parents, Cap Atwood and Philomena Morris; Stepmother Vera Wakefield; Brothers North Atwood and Val Atwood; Stepbrothers Lloyd Gardner and Calvin Gardner and son-in-law Danny Smith.
A memorial service for Hollis will be held on Friday, November 5th at 1:00 p.m. at Veterans Memorial Cemetery, 2830 Riverside Parkway, Grand Junction, CO.
The family would like to thank the Intermountain Hospice for their care and commitment. Instead of flowers, we ask for donations to your preferred charity.
Published by The Daily Sentinel on October 15, 2021.