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April 1997

Everett Skaggs, 1923-1997

One of the most familiar faces at the Mesa and Foothills sites, carpenter Everett Skaggs from Maintenance, died on Friday, 14 March, at Boulder Community Hospital. Everett, who had a history of cardiac problems, collapsed while on duty at the Mesa Lab that morning and never regained consciousness, despite the immediate attention of the First Reponse team and paramedics.

Everett was truly a builder. In his repairs and construction tasks, he made his mark in virtually every corner of the Mesa and Foothills labs and the other Boulder-area sites. But he also built relationships with the same care and dedication. Those human bridges, less visible, are what a number of staff will remember most about Everett.

"He was really a wonderful friend," says Karen Friedman, who knew Everett during his entire 19-year tenure at NCAR. In 1986, after Karen suffered serious neck injuries in a car accident, "Everett built me a reading stand before it became an ergonomic catalog item." Karen was also one of several staff for whom Everett did freelance home repairs: "Every time I moved into a different place, he helped with construction." One night a few years ago, Karen came home to find her entire townhouse floor flooded. "I called Everett at 11 p.m., and he came over and replaced the washer hoses. The week before he passed away, he stopped by my office and said, 'Now, I know you have your own place now, but be sure you check those hoses.' "

Teresa Rivas and her family were close friends with Everett, who was a Realtor and helped them buy their house. "I really liked how diverse his interests were. If he had an interest in some legal issue, he'd march right down to the law library and look it up. He knew quite a lot, even about his own health condition. He made sure he was well informed." Occasionally, Everett would ask Teresa about some aspect of Latino language or culture so he and his wife could better help a neighbor or acquaintance. "They did a considerable amount of helping people who were down on their luck."

Born and raised in Alva, Oklahoma, Everett attended Union College and the University of Nebraska before taking up carpentry and construction. He was a master cabinet maker for Wurlitzer Organ Company and had owned and operated his own construction firm in Denver. Everett enjoyed nature, woodcrafts, music, and photography. He is survived by his wife, Norma; a son, Charles Imhoff; and a grandson.

Everett's legacy, both human and physical, will live on at UCAR. "There is hardly a room at any of our facilities that Everett has not worked in," says John Pereira, Maintenance manager. "He was very knowledgeable about his job as well as many of the other facility maintenance crafts. Whether he actually constructed some of the walls, built a bookcase, or only hung a white board, Everett left his mark. He was well liked by everyone in Maintenance and he will be missed by the team for a long time." •BH

A memorial fund to make a donation in Everett's name has been established; Norma Skaggs will designate the charity. If you would like to contribute, contact Teresa, ext. 1437, rivas@ucar.edu.


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Edited by Bob Henson, bhenson@ucar.edu