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Carol Skaggs

Born: Thu., Mar. 12, 1925
Died: Tue., Jul. 9, 2019


Visitation

6:00 PM to 8:00 PM, Fri., Jul. 12, 2019
Location: Colonial Funeral Home


Gathering of Family and Friends

6:00 PM to 8:00 PM, Fri., Jul. 12, 2019


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Carol Mae Skaggs, 94, passed away of natural causes at Caring Hearts Assisted Living.  She was born in her family farmhouse near Brownell, Kansas; and throughout her life, she remained proud of her western Kansas roots. Carol was a child of the Great Depression, and she never forgot the harsh realities of farm life on the prairie with its lack of modern conveniences: no electricity, no running water, a wooden outhouse, and wood stoves for cooking and heating. From an early age, she was responsible for numerous daily chores, along with the care of her younger siblings. Despite these deprivations and hardships, she had fond memories of her childhood. Carol’s basic values were shaped by hard work, personal responsibility, and the necessity of living within your means.

Carol and 11 other students graduated from Brownell High School, Class of 1942, and was one of two surviving members. In school, she and her younger sister, Yvonne, were part of the Brownell High School girls’ basketball team that won the WKEA Western Division Championship. Carol always loved basketball and avidly watched both men’s and women’s games on TV, especially the Kansas State and University of Kansas teams.

Following one year at Fort Hays State Teacher’s College, at just 18 years of age, Carol taught eight students at a rural, one-room school north of Bazine, Kansas in 1943. She was paid $110 per month, out of which $50 was deducted for her room and board with a local family. Her small room was unheated, and she remembers snow piling up on the inside windowsill during winter storms. The next year she moved to Topeka, Kansas, and worked for the Santé Fe Railroad Company as a clerk, before attending Kansas State College in Manhattan. Carol often talked about the hardships of gas rationing, and food shortages while living in Topeka and Manhattan during WWII.

Carol married her high school sweetheart, William T. “Billy” Skaggs, in 1946, just a few months after he returned home from serving three years in the 14th Armored Division of the U.S. Army during the fight to liberate Europe from Hitler. After a year of marriage, Bill surprised Carol one day by suddenly announcing that he was going to use the GI Bill to attend the University of Kansas in Lawrence. Following his college graduation, Bill and Carol – along with their three young children – headed to Owensboro, KY, for his first job as an electrical engineer. In 1960, Bill was offered a job with the Thiokol Corporation in Utah, and he moved the family out west. Carol was always conflicted about leaving her beloved Kansas, but she enthusiastically embraced and totally enjoyed living in Utah. In 1965, Bill took a position with the J.R. Simplot Co. in Pocatello, where he worked until his 1985 retirement. Carol and Bill loved to ski, camp, and hike while living in Utah and Idaho; they especially loved living in the home they built themselves on Buckskin Road in the foothills of Pocatello. Carol became an accomplished woodworker; she crafted the cabinets, installed sheetrock, pine-paneling, built a lava rock fireplace, and mortared the lava rock exterior on their dream house.  

In 1982, Carol realized a life-long goal by graduating from Idaho State University with a BS degree in Education, Consumer Economics. Her 84-year-old mother, Nellie Wyman, attended Carol’s 1982 ISU graduation ceremony. Immediately after, they drove to Kansas, where Carol attended her 40th reunion at Brownell High School. Carol was an ambitious, goal-oriented person who always liked having a “project” to work on. Among her many talents, she was an accomplished seamstress, quilter, fine-art painter, mason, woodworker, gardener and homemaker. In retirement, Bill and Carol became frequent travelers who visited most of the lower 48 states, as well as Alaska, in their RV. In recent years, Carol used her personal computer to compile extensive and thoroughly researched family histories. She also wrote two personal memoirs that she had printed and bound into hard-cover books.

Carol was a life-long member of Eastern Star. For many years, she volunteered at voting stations during elections. She funded a scholarship in the College of Education Consumer Science Department at Idaho State University.

Carol is survived by her younger sister, Laura Turner, of Ransom, Kansas; her daughter Kay (Dan) Durman of Pocatello, Idaho; and her son Bob (Jackie) Skaggs of Jackson, Wyoming; three grandchildren: Angela Skaggs, John (Giovanna) Durman, and Jesse Durman; and three great-grandchildren. She was predeceased by her brother, LaVerne Wyman; sister Yvonne Diekman; her eldest son, Tom Skaggs; and her husband of 61 years, Bill.

In lieu of flowers, donations in Carol’s memory may be made to the Wyman-Skaggs Home Economic Scholarship at the ISU Foundation; 921 S. 8th Ave., Stop 8050; Pocatello, ID 83209.

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Jill Phillips Serpa
   Posted Thu July 11, 2019
I’m so very sorry for the loss of your mother. With deepest and most caring sympathy, Jill P. Serpa

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