Kristin Fanney Gumonsdottir Skagfield
Kristin Fanney Gumonsdottir Skagfield passed away peacefully at 95 years of age Monday, May 26, 2014 at her home in Westminster Oaks. She was born at Litla Brekka, the family farm in Borganes Iceland on May 22, 1919 to Gufriur Johannesdottir and Gumundur Thorvaldsson.
While in Iceland, She was a mid-wife for several years before studying fashion design.Her talents were evident very early and she was asked to design and make the wedding gown for the daughter of then President of Iceland. She immigrated to Tallahassee in 1950 with her husband, Hilmar, and young daughter Lucy. Because nursing licensure was an issue for someone with limited English skills, she decided to start sewing for many of Tallahassee's prominent ladies and the word soon spread about her skills and design talents.In 1959 she opened her own studio called Kristin's Studio of Fashion Design in the Randall-Lewis House and a few years later she bought 315 Call Street and which became her signature studio.
She was well known for her high fashion design talents. Many young Tallahassee women started their married lives in one of Kristin's wedding gowns.But she was not limited to weddings; her creative designs touched many special events including years of designing the May Party gowns, historic events like Mardi Gras in New Orleans, competition gowns for beauty pageants such as Ms. Florida, Ms. Iceland and Ms. Universe, and many other special occasions like designing a wardrobe for the wife of Dr. Robert S. Mullliken when he accepted the Nobel Prize for Chemistry in 1966, and the inaugural gown for Donna Lou Askew when her husband was inaugurated as Florida's governor in 1971.That gown is now in the Florida archives.
If there was a worthwhile cause that needed a top name for their fundraising purposes, she was often called upon to stage a benefit fashion show. Her personal favorite causes included anything for children, and other causes such as the Leukemia Society, the Kiwanis Club and the Women's Club.Her fashion shows, were typically were sold-out events and raised considerable funds for many charities over the years. Her last fashion show was a benefit for the Women's Club in 2003 and featured a "100 Years of Fashion."
She was also involved with The Pilot's Club, The Tallahassee Women's Club and LeMoyne Center for the Visual Arts. She and her husband, Hilmar Skagfield, were founding members of St. Stephens Lutheran Church.
She was widely known as a fabulous cook and with her late husband, Hilmar, was the consummate entertainer.Parties, large and small, were part of her lifestyle and although Hilmar was the Icelandic Consul General of Iceland, she supported his duties by feeding and entertaining many visitors and dignitaries.
She is survived by her children: Lucy Baney and her husband Jack of New Canaan CT, Hilda Jones and her husband Earl of Roseburg OR, and Hilmar Skagfield and his wife Karen of Tallahassee, FL; Grandchildren Brian Baney and his wife Catherine, Jasminka Baney, Hanna Jones, Meredith Jones, Jonathan Skagfield, Brittany (Skagfield) Wangenheim and her husband Eric and Great Granddaughter Scarlett Francis Baney.Her sister Hjordis in Iceland and numerous nieces and nephews both in the US and Iceland. She is preceded in death by her husband, Hilmar S Skagfield.
A Visitation will be held on Wednesday June 11, 2014 from 5-7 pm at Beggs Funeral Home at 3322 Apalachee Parkway, Tallahassee, FL. The funeral service will be held on June 12th at 2:00 pm at the Maquire Center for Lifelong Learning at Westminster Oaks, 4449 Meandering Way, Tallahassee, FL. A reception will follow at the Maguire Center.
In lieu of flowers the family requests that donations to be to one of the following charities:
Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation, Capital Area Healthy Start Coalition, the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society, and Big Bend Hospice.
Published in Tallahassee Democrat on June 8, 2014
Beggs Funeral Home Apalachee
3322 Apalachee Parkway Tallahassee, FL 32311