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Former Leghorn dies

Published: Wednesday, October 10, 2012 at 10:33 a.m.
Last Modified: Wednesday, October 10, 2012 at 10:33 a.m.

A quiet family man and a tough football player, Harry “Bud” Skoog died Monday at his longtime Liberty Valley home, most of which he built with his own hands. He was 90.

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Harry 'Bud' Skoog.

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He was born Oct. 6, 1922, to Carl and Florence Skoog, Penngrove chicken ranchers in an era when Petaluma was supplier of eggs to the world.

He attended Penngrove School and then Petaluma High School, from where he graduated in 1941. After briefly attending Santa Rosa Junior College, Skoog followed his brother into the Navy once the United States entered World War II.

He served the war out as a crewman on a transport ship traveling the South Pacific, India and Atlantic oceans and the Mediterranean Sea, ferrying troops to the battlefield and returning with prisoners of war.

After the war, he enrolled in the University of San Francisco on the GI Bill and a football scholarship.

Skoog was “a hardy Swedish guy” who stood six-foot tall, said his daughter, Kristine Skoog of Cotati. He put that sturdiness to use on USF's offensive and defensive lines, playing as center and nose tackle, two of the sport's most punishing positions.

He stayed in the game beyond college. Skoog played with the Petaluma Leghorns, a semi-professional team with a Bay Area-wide following and a chicken mascot named Leviticus.

Later, long after his playing career was over, he coached the Petaluma Chicks Pop Warner team.

A quiet family man and a tough football player, Harry “Bud” Skoog died Monday at his longtime Liberty Valley home, most of which he built with his own hands. He was 90.

Enlarge

Harry ‘Bud' Skoog

He was born Oct. 6, 1922, to Carl and Florence Skoog, Penngrove chicken ranchers in an era when Petaluma was supplier of eggs to the world.

He attended Penngrove School and then Petaluma High School, from where he graduated in 1941. After briefly attending Santa Rosa Junior College, Skoog followed his brother into the Navy once the United States entered World War II.

He served the war out as a crewman on a transport ship traveling the South Pacific, India and Atlantic oceans and the Mediterranean Sea, ferrying troops to the battlefield and returning with prisoners of war.

After the war, he enrolled in the University of San Francisco on the GI Bill and a football scholarship.

Skoog was “a hardy Swedish guy” who stood six-foot tall, said his daughter, Kristine Skoog of Cotati. He put that sturdiness to use on USF's offensive and defensive lines, playing as center and nose tackle, two of the sport's most punishing positions.

He stayed in the game beyond college. Skoog played with the Petaluma Leghorns, a semi-professional team with a Bay Area-wide following and a chicken mascot named Leviticus.

Later, long after his playing career was over, he coached the Petaluma Chicks Pop Warner team.

Skoog returned to Petaluma in 1950, after graduating from USF with a bachelor's in history. Accompanying him was his wife, Lorraine, with whom he had attended high school. The couple — she was working as a nurse in San Francisco in the post-war years — met again at their five-year high school reunion and married in 1946.

“He was honest and truthful. He was a good person and he saved his money,” Lorraine Skoog said.

Back in Petaluma, Skoog taught agricultural practices to returning servicemen who wanted to become farmers, after which he became, for a decade, a farm equipment salesman.

“He sold all those GIs that he taught tractors, manure spreaders and haybalers,” said Kristine Skoog.

In 1961, her father joined Lincoln National Life Insurance Co. as a salesman, working with clients with whom he'd spent years building trust.

“He went to the insurance company and he sold all those GIs farmers' insurance,” Skoog said.

Harry “Bud” Skoog retired in 1987. He and his wife traveled the western states in a 25-foot trailer, often for weeks at a time, and took local trips with the Go-Fer-Kix RV Club.

Survivors, in addition to Lorraine and Kristine Skoog, include his daughters Kathy Potts of Petaluma and Karlyn Wilson of Beaver, Pa.

Services are set for 2 p.m. Sunday at the United Church of Christ, 825 Middlefield Dr., Petaluma.

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