Ulla  Atkinson

Obituary of Ulla Kling Atkinson

Ulla Kling Atkinson passed away peacefully on June 7, 2024 at her home in NYC surrounded by family and friends, after a long and courageous fight with cancer. Ulla was born October 18, 1944 in Denmark and spent her formative years growing up in and around Copenhagen.  Eager to sample life and the world around, she began her travels early, to Germany and France. 


By eighteen, she had discovered her calling and returned to Denmark to resume her education, and to begin her career as a graphic designer.  Her extraordinary talent opened new doors, but so did the call of travel and she once again headed out into the world beyond her birthplace. She traveled to America with little money, but a pocket full of ambition and a recognizable talent, hoping to find a position in New York City, the most competitive city in the world. 


Her courage and determination were rewarded with a job offer at a New York advertising agency.  It was there that she met her husband, Thomas Atkinson. They were married in 1972 and had a son, whom she named Dane, in honor of her beloved homeland. In time, her work drew further attention, and she accepted a design position with Gray Advertising where she ultimately became a senior art director, and from which she retired some 30 years later. Ulla may have retired from Advertising, but she never retired from life: she continued to use her knowledge and talent to help start-up companies, nonprofits and friends in need of her help. She was always there for anyone who asked or needed her. Generous, giving, and caring, Ulla Kling Atkinson was the one everyone could count on: organizing trips skiing and to her vacation home in Claverack, N.Y., arranging for the annual Danish Christmas and Easter luncheons, which overflowed with copious amounts of open-face sandwiches to be washed down with beer and aquavit, and to partake in various sport’s competitions -- playing tennis or women’s soccer or European handball. Whatever the task, she never complained and always gave her all.  She squeezed every drop out of what life had to offer.  It made it hard for others to keep up with her, but it was also why it was so much fun to be around her. And why the hole her passing left in our hearts will not be filled.


Ulla Kling-Atkinson was pre-deceased by her husband of 9 years, Thomas Atkinson, and her sister. She leaves behind a loving and caring son and two grandchildren, Kase and Ion, who augmented and brightened her life. She will be missed by friends and family. A celebration of her life is being planned for this summer and will be shared.

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