Hilmar S. Skagfield
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"IN MEMORY OF HILMAR SKAGFIELD"
Hilmar S. Skagfield, husband, father, brother uncle, entrepreneur, civic leader, humanitarian, and friend, passed away peacefully at 88 on Sunday, August 14, 2011.
He was born in Pafastadur in the north of Iceland, on July 25, 1923 to Lovisa Albertsdottir and Sigurdur Skagfield. As a young man in Iceland, Hilmar followed in the footsteps of his operatic father and recorded records for the radio both as a soloist and with his younger sister Edda. He also played the Hawaiian guitar in a group called The Hawaiian Quartet and was also an accomplished pianist.Hilmar married Kristin Gudmundsdottir and immigrated with his wife and young daughter to Tallahassee, FL to attend Florida State University. He proudly called Tallahassee his home for over 60 years.
After working as an accountant for many years, he founded Skandia Draperies, a successful manufacturer of draperies for mobile homes and office buildings.Over the years the company evolved into Skandia Window Fashions that manufactures horizontal blinds, vertical blinds, shades, shutters with locations in Tallahassee, Thomasville, GA, San Diego, CA and Manitowoc, WI.
He fully integrated himself into the community by enthusiastically participating in all aspects of life in Tallahassee.He and his wife Kristin were strong supporters of the performing arts particularly at LeMoyne exhibits and musical performances at FSU. He became an active member of the Jaycees, served as PTA President and as a charter member of Capital City Kiwanis Club where he was recently recognized for over 50 years of service.In addition, he founded Kiwanis in Iceland which now has 50 chapters. He was known for fostering strong ties between the Icelandic chapters and the local Tallahassee Kiwanis Club and for organizing exchange visitations between the two countries. For over 25 years Hilmar served first as Iceland's Consul and then as Consul General giving him the opportunity to identify areas of cooperation between his homeland and his adopted country.He was instrumental in developing an exchange program between the Tallahassee Police Department and the Police Department in Reykjavik, Iceland whose chief was an FSU graduate. Exchange visits between the two police forces were organized. In recognition of his many achievements in cultural exchanges between Iceland and the U.S., the President of Iceland awarded him the Oder of the Falcon.Hilmar was also a board member and officer for over 30 years at the Apalachee Mental Health Association and an active member of the Tallahassee Economics Club.
Although he was engaged in many civic organizations and projects, his real focus was always on his family. Many nights after dinner he gathered his kids around the piano while he played popular songs and everyone sang along.In addition to his passion for music, he had an insatiable appetite for intellectual pursuits and never hesitated to encourage spirited debates about a variety of topics. His spirituality and beliefs were always important to him and he and his wife were founding members of Saint Stephens Lutheran Church on Meridian road.
Always the gentleman, Hilmar is the consummate success portrait of the immigrant who came to America in pursuit of opportunity; he set ambitious goals, worked hard, deeply loved and honored his family, and showed compassion to anyone who needed a helping hand.
He is survived by his wife of almost 65 years, Kristin Skagfield, his children: Lucy Baney, and her husband Jack of New Canaan, Connecticut; Hilda Jones and her husband Earl Jones of Roseburg, Oregon; and Hilmar Skagfield and his wife Karen of Tallahassee, FL; Grandchildren Brian Baney, Jasminka Baney, Hanna Jones, Meredith Jones, Jonathan Skagfield and Brittany Skagfield.His sister Edda Skagfield of Pafastadur, Iceland and her five children, and sister Sigrid Sigurdsson of Hamburg, Germany and her son; and numerous nieces and nephews.
A visitation will be held on Friday, August 19th from 6-8 PM at Beggs Funeral Home at 3322 Apalachee Parkway, Tallahassee. The funeral service will be held at 11 AM on Saturday August 20th at Saint Paul's United Methodist Church at 1700 North Meridian Road, Tallahassee with reception to follow in the church fellowship hall.
In lieu of flowers, the family requests donations to be made to one of the following charities: Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation International, 26 Broadway, 14th Floor, New York, NY 10004; National MS Society, PO Box 4527, New York, NY 10163;
Capital City Kiwanis Club Foundation, C/O Sanders, Holloway & Ryan, 2878 Mahan Drive, Tallahassee, FL 32308-5410; Tallahassee Memorial Rehabilitation Center through the TMH Foundation, 1331 East Sixth Avenue, Tallahassee, FL 32303.
Beggs Funeral Home - Apalachee Chapel
3322 Apalachee Parkway
Tallahassee, FL 32311
Published in Tallahassee Democrat from Aug. 17 to Aug. 19, 2011