Memorial service planned for Estrella Warbirds Museum co-founder who died in plane crash

A memorial service for the co-founder of Paso Robles' Estrella Warbirds Museum is planned for 10 a.m. Saturday. The event is open to the public.

Obbie Atkinson, 86, died Feb. 4 after the World War II-era military plane he was a passenger in crashed in a creek bed near Cal Poly in San Luis Obispo the day before. Atkinson had been in critical condition before he died at Sierra Vista Regional Medical Center in San Luis Obispo.

Pilot Jeffrey Welles of Newport Beach survived.

The Aeronca L-3B "Grasshopper" plane that Atkinson was a passenger in the day of the crash was his favorite plane, according to the museum.

The celebration of his life is set to take place at the museum in hangar No. 1, at 4251 Dry Creek Road in Paso Robles.

Atkinson's full obituary can be found at http://www.tributes.com/show/Obbie-Atkinson-90701650.

The Estrella Warbirds Museum will not open until noon on Saturday so museum members and docents can attend the memorial, according to the museum's website, http://www.ewarbirds.org.

The museum normally opens at 10 a.m. on Saturdays.

-Tonya Strickland