Obituary: Roland Daris Skinner
Roland Daris Skinner of Prescott died Saturday, April 26, 2008, after a short illness. He was born May 29, 1927, in Los Angeles, Calif.
Roland met and married his high school sweetheart, Charlotte Arlene Hunt, in 1945. Their love and passion for each other lasted 62 1/2 years and will continue for eternity. Their union produced three loving, caring and devoted daughters, Nona Ladra, Jill Molnar and Susi Garcia. In 1962, he met Douglas Stancill, who became his "surrogate son." He was proud that his daughters married wonderful men, Rick Ladra, John Molnar and Alexandro Garcia, whom he considered sons rather than sons-in-law.
His family continued to grow with the addition of five grandchildren: Ann Ladra Taylor, Sara Ladra Fuller, Jayson Bruce, Alex Garcia and Charlee Garcia; and two great-grandchildren, Jaylin Bruce and Jack R. Taylor.
Roland lived his early life in Wilmington, Calif., where his family ran a yacht anchorage. There he developed a lifelong love of swimming and the out-of-doors. He served in the Navy during WWII and graduated from Cal Poly University with a degree in air conditioning engineering. He moved to Arizona in 1959 so he could enjoy more time with his family. He became business partners with George Thomas in Thomas Heating & Air Conditioning from 1961-1986. During that time, he designed the A/C systems for such projects as Motorola, Metro Center, Goldwater's, Dorms at NAU, Scottsdale Memorial Hospital and various other landmarks around the Phoenix area. He served as president of ASHRAE and SMACNA and was active in the apprentice programs for both the plumbers and sheet metal unions.
Arizona became his "playground" where he enjoyed hiking, water skiing, camping and boating. He explored the state border to border and especially loved to hunt. In 1968, he held the record for the largest bighorn sheep. As a hunter, Roland instilled in his family a respect and love of Mother Nature and taught the concept of "leave only footprints." He never hunted just for the sport but rather used the animal for food for family and friends.
Roland enjoyed exposing his family to the joys of world travel and throughout his lifetime visited every continent except Antarctica.
In 1986, Roland retired to his "heaven on earth," Prescott, where he was further blessed with great friends. He always had a "project," and in Prescott, he personally remodeled his dream home, where he lived until the end of his life.
Roland's legacy is his family and his greatest attribute was his ability to lead by example. He was a wonderful husband, father, friend and mentor. He was a great teacher and shared his life's lessons through his stories. He was a quiet, gentle, compassionate man and was always eager to use his talents to help others. Above all, Roland loved his wife, family and his dog, Sassy.
There will be an Open House Remembrance of Roland from 2 to 5 p.m. Saturday, May 10, at his home. For more details, visit www.sunrisefuneralhome.com.
In lieu of flowers, please send donations to your favorite charity or to Roland's favorite, Multiple Sclerosis Society.
Information provided by survivors.