Richard MacRae Atchison, Colonel, USAF (Retired) was born in Northville, Michigan, to Dr. Russell and Ruth Mary Atchison. He grew up in a small Michigan farming community where he learned a lifestyle of excellence and service from his parents. He graduated from Kemper Military School in Boonville, Missouri in 1958 with a passion for flying and joined the Air Force’s Aviation Cadet Program in 1961. As a commissioned officer, he lived out his boyhood dreams as an Electronic Warfare Officer, flying B-52s Crome-Dome missions, OV-10 Broncos (Pave Nail) in Vietnam, and F-4G Wild Weasel missions in Europe. Later in his career, he became the HQ USAF Director of Electronic Combat, eventually becoming the Deputy Director of Intelligence (J2) on the Joint Staff which included temporary duty as US Central Command Deputy Director of Intelligence for Operation Desert Storm. While attending Air Command and Staff College, he completed his BS in Management from Troy State University with specialties in Cartography and Labor Relations. His decorations include 2 Legions of Merit, 3 Distinguished Flying Crosses, a Bronze Star, and 13 Air Medals.
Richard Atchison and Barbara Anders were married in June 1964 at Wright-Patterson AFB, Ohio. They have four children, Anne-Marie Mingo (Louis), Scott MacRae Atchison (Suzanne), Scott Michael Atchison (Joanna), and Tony Stackhouse. They also have six grandchildren and one great-grandchild. His influence went beyond his own family as together he and Barbara parented with patience, love, and grace over 50 children in the foster care system.
Richard led by example in excellence and service. He served as the president of the Fairfax County Foster Parents Association as well as president of the Belvoir Bowhunters. Retirement gave him more opportunities to serve and it was his great joy to work with Wounded Warriors, adaptive sports, and the Warrior Transition Battalion of Fort Belvoir.
Richard is preceded in death by his brother Russell M. Atchison and his parents. He is survived by his sisters Rhonda M. Atchison Rice and Roxanne M. Casterline.
In lieu of flowers the family requests memorial donations be made to Archbishop Carroll High School, 4300 Harewood Rd NE, Washington DC 20017.