RONAN — Alfred Julian Skogen was born Sept. 1, 1932, in Ronan to Alfred and Isabel Skogen. He passed away peacefully on Sept. 12, 2019 in Ronan. He was 87 years young. Al was the fifth of six children.
He attended Ronan public schools, and was very active in all sorts of activities — from student council, drama and band, to football and basketball. He graduated in the class of 1950 and then served in the U.S. Army for several years. His dream was to go to Hollywood to pursue an acting career but his father unexpectedly passed away and he chose to stay home with his mother and take over the family jewelry store. He attended watch making school at Bradley University in Peoria, Illinois.
In 1957, Al married Patricia Funke and they had three children, Cindy, Fred, and Karen. They purchased the Gaiety Theatre, later renamed The Entertainer Theatre, and Patsy ran the business for 14 years. After 22 years of marriage Al and Patsy divorced in 1978. In 1982, Al married Mardene Wirz and inherited two children that he loved as his own, Brenda and Brad. They were married for 35 years until Mardene’s death in 2017.
Al worked several jobs including selling insurance and selling cars for Don Aadsen Ford before he began his work at Ronan State Bank in 1968. He continued his work at the bank for over 40 years, fully retiring at the age of 78. His real passion began in 1976 when he and a group of local golf enthusiasts had the crazy idea of starting a golf course in Ronan. Several years later, land was purchased west of Ronan, and in 1987, after over a decade of fundraising, construction began on the Mission Mountain Country Club. Many worked on getting the project off the ground, but Al was always the driving force. He loved introducing new people to the game he loved. Al loved his community and served it tirelessly. He sat on the Ronan City Council and the Ronan school board. He was a member of the Elks and the Jaycees as well as the Chamber of Commerce. He was the “voice of the Chiefs” football program for 50 years, announcing games first for his friends, then his son, then his grandsons.
Throughout his life, Al loved to entertain people young and old. Many of his friends and family can share fond memories of Al in a Santa suit. He had a set of pantomime skits that he loved to perform and he performed them up and down the Mission Valley for various groups of people. Al was an avid Grizzly fan, holding season tickets for many years. One of his most memorable travels was seeing the Griz play in Nashville, Tennessee, for the National Championship in 2008.
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In his retirement years, he played a lot of golf, watched a lot of Mariners games, cheered on the Griz, returned to his love of antique clock repair, and survived a battle with cancer.
Al is survived by his children: Cindy (Tom) Dell of Billings, Fred (Tammy) Skogen of Greeley, Colorado, Karen (Aaron) Haslem of Red Hook, New York, Brenda (Rick) Dennis of Charlo, and Brad (Sandy) Wirz of Ronan. Al leaves behind a legacy in 19 grandchildren and 21 great-grandchildren: grandchildren Riley (Chye), Alex (Trae) Garcia and Nathan Dennis. BreeAnna (Ryley) Duford, Chris (Emily) Byker, Sadie, Gabby, Lexi and Peyton Wirz, Amy (James) Rozell, Aaron (Marrisa) Skogen, Alan (Kelsey) Skogen, Adam (Alexis) Skogen, Titus, Noah, Ciciley and Lucas Haslem, JT (Ashley) Dell, and Megan (Adam) Goldammer, and 20 great-grandchildren, Aden, Kolby, Victoria, Sydney, Molly, Sicily, Emma, Carter, Kaden, Davin, Landon, Virginia, Stephen, Madeline, Derek, Aliya, Everly, Hennessy, Nevada, Lucas and Keaton.
A Memorial Service will be held on Sept. 28 at 4 p.m. at the Ronan Community Center. A potluck dinner will be served. In lieu of flowers, donations can be made to a memorial scholarship that’s been set up in Al’s name. Memories and condolences may be sent to the family at shriderthompson.com.
Arrangements are under the direction of Shrider – Thompson Funeral Home.