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On his 76th birthday, family and friends remember guitarist Leon Atkinson

The north Idaho performer was the subject of a memorial ceremony in Post Falls on Thursday.

Family and friends honored the memory of the late guitarist Leon Atkinson during a ceremony at the Templin Events Center in Post Falls Thursday.

On a stage filled with photos and guitars, Leon Atkinson’s daughters and friends remembered his life and played music that he loved and recorded. They described him as inventive, strong-willed and stubborn, a family man who was proud of his four daughters and many grandchildren.

One of his signature accomplishments was as creator and host of Spokane Public Radio’s “Guitar Hour,” which he hosted for nearly 30 years.

The memorial came on Atkinson's birthday. He would have been 76.

In addition to his radio work, he leaves a legacy of live performance and teaching guitar at Inland Northwest colleges and universities.

Atkinson passed away two weeks ago. He had had a variety of medical issues.

One of the Northwest's most seasoned reporters is returning to his SPR roots. Doug Nadvornick will be heard frequently on KPBX and KSFC reporting on local news.