Created on Wednesday, 28 August 2013 Written by THE BELLEFONTAINE EXAMINER STAFF
As Dr. Alan Jon Atha wished, he died at home May 7, 2013, surrounded by the love of family, friends and his canine buddies Midnight and Daylight. In his final hours, friends and relatives gathered around and others called to tell him stories that had to do with the impact, caring and influence he had on their lives.
As a psychologist, his quest was to facilitate and support the changes in life for which people hoped. For so many, he was truly a “change agent,” who unlocked the doors to meaning, purpose, hope and unconditional love. While his work in the later years was largely in private practice, earlier he was renowned as a national and international management consultant, especially to family owned businesses.
Alan was born Sept. 15, 1941, to his parents Attorney LaVerne and Elizabeth Taylor Atha. He was preceded in death by his beloved son, Timothy; his parents; and his sisters, Marilyn Atha and Sharyn Figley.
He is survived by his wife and best friend of 49 years, Gail Ofte Atha, his brother, the Rev. Grayson (Wende) Atha; daughter, Kjersten (Matthew) Croke; and his sister, Marilyn Atha’s children (whom he and Gail raised), James (Stacy) Scott Atha, Jonna Leigh (Tom) Atha and Jon Kristian (Robin) Atha. He also is survived by his grandchildren, Tyler, Patrick, Rory, and Jack Croke and Marilyn’s grandchildren, James, Tristin, Randy, Lilliana, Brendon, Caleb, Carmen, Timothy and Brittany, and Robin’s son, Spencer.
He and Gail have resided in Valparaiso since 1967. Alan went to Valparaiso initially to help administer a learning disabilities clinic. He was active in the Community Theater, and he and Tim loved to ski.
Alan was the author of a book, Assessment Guide: Interviewing Skills. He was in the process of writing a book called Lies Parents Tell Children. Most importantly, he wrote on the pages of our lives.
A Celebration of Alan’s life is at 2:30 p.m. Sunday at the home place, 213 E. Baird St., with sharing and lunch at 3 p.m.
In the case of inclement weather, the gathering and sharing will be at West Liberty United Methodist Church, 202 W. Newell St.
If desired, contributions in honor of Alan can be made to the West Liberty Town Hall Restoration Project, c/o West Liberty Historical Society, P.O. Box 159, West Liberty 43357.