Faculty emeritus Niels Skov, who taught at Evergreen from the 1970s until the 1990s, and led a life distinguished by heroism, adventure, and accomplishment, died on January 5 at the age of 95.
Tribute to Niels Skov
A Danish resistance fighter during WWII, Skov survived capture by the Nazis to become an engineer, oceanographer, author, businessman, and teacher to many Evergreen students.
Born in Ribe, Denmark, he actively opposed the 1940 Nazi occupation of his country and was among the earliest participants in the Danish underground movement. Arrested at the age of 24 by the Gestapo, he was tortured and imprisoned at a series of German concentration camps before escaping and joining American forces for the remainder of the war. His 1997 memoir, Letter to My Descendants, chronicles his experiences during this harrowing period.
In peacetime, Skov returned home, earning a mechanical engineering degree from the Teknikum of Copenhagen in 1947. Soon after, he immigrated to the U.S. He initially pursued a business career, co-founding and managing a consulting firm that ultimately operated in 10 countries. In the 1960s, he changed course, re-entering school to be become an educator, and he completed his master’s and doctoral degrees in physical oceanography.
Skov, who was fluent in four languages, joined Evergreen in 1972. Over the next two decades, he instructed students in many different subjects—from agriculture, energy systems, and oceanography to business, writing, and the philosophy of science. Faculty member Drew Buchman described him as “a real Renaissance man.”
Evergreen’s trustees conferred emeritus status in 1994 recognizing Skov as “an enthusiastic, creative, committed, intellectually energetic colleague who provided faculty and students alike the benefit of his keen insight, rigor, judgment, and experience over a broad range of disciplines and thought.”
He is survived by his wife, Diane ’83; six children, and five grandchildren. To commemorate his life, donations can be made to Evergreen’s Niels Skov Scholarship, established in his honor.
Joy Dore Alford ’90, Sept. 28, 2014 at the age of 82. She worked in stage set design, pottery, printmaking, landscape architecture, painting, and sculpture.
Susan (Morris) Black ‘85, Dec. 29, 2014 at the age of 70 in Olympia. She was a registered nurse and an artist.
Claudean Cage ’01, Nov. 1, 2014 at the age of 75. She lived in Olympia for many years after earning her BA.
Virginia Cox ’78, Oct. 20, 2014 at the age of 81 in Vancouver, Wash. She was active in scouting and arts and crafts and was a founder of NAMI Southwest Washington.
Wayne Eklund ’05, Nov. 18, 2014 at the age of 60 in Portland, Ore. He was a registered nurse, nurse consultant, and certified life care planner in independent practice in Salem and he served as president and board member of the Brain Injury Alliance of Oregon.
Carmen Hanna-Tribble ’81, Nov. 13 at the age of 75. Before retiring, she practiced marriage and family therapy in Olympia.
Charles Hunter, Jr., ’73, Oct. 31, 2014 at the age of 64 in Tacoma. He worked for the Washington State Department of Social and Health Services for more than 30 years.
Steven Miller ’87, Oct. 2014 at the age of 49. He was a composer, sound artist, musician, educator, and former chair of the Contemporary Music Program of Santa Fe University of Art and Design.
Grant Nathanson, Jan. 7 at the age of 19. He was an Evergreen student.
Vernette Ohlinger ’05, Nov. 13, 2014 at the age of 57 in Lacey. She was an equestrienne for more than 40 years.
Nancy Anne Olsen ’76, Jan.15 at the age of 64 in Monterey, Calif. She worked for more than three decades in the scientific and academic publishing field and served as the managing editor of the Journal of Ocean and Coastal Economics.
Jan H. Perry ’85, Jan. 5 at the age of 55 in Montpelier, Vt. She was an avid outdoorswoman and champion for environmental conservation.
Chuck Porret ‘09, Oct. 14, 2014 at the age of 44. He earned his degree in social work and was an advocate for people with disabilities to live independently.
George Romansic ’78, Jan. 25 at the age of 58. He was a pioneer of the Northwest indie music scene, a rock drummer, indie record distributor, and former writer for the music magazine, The Rocket.
Larry Savage, March 25. He was a mainstay at Evergreen for 38 years, starting as an office machine repair mechanic and transferring in 1982 to Police Services, where he held several positions, finally working as the main daytime dispatcher and switchboard operator.
Merle Templeton ’77, Oct. 31, 2014 at the age of 80. He was a registered nurse with a specialty in chemical dependence.
James Joseph Waller ’76, Jan. 30 at the age of 70. He was an attorney who developed a program in Tacoma to find employment for young adults and held various positions including chief investigator for the Alaska Public Defender Agency in Anchorage.
Jeffrey Womeldorff, Aug. 15 at the age of 28. Jeff attended Evergreen from 2004-07 and worked at Old School Pizzeria.
Gary Keith Wright ’73, March 15 at age 63. He worked in floral and interior design and furniture sales.