Thermopolis Independent Record - Your source for news in Hot Springs County

James Skaggs


February 8, 2018

James Clarence Skaggs, 86, passed away at Bonnie Bluejacket Nursing Home in Basin, Wyo., on February 1, 2018 with his wife, Adria, by his side holding his hand.

Jim was an only child born in Rawlins, Wyo., on January 15, 1932, to Noah Clarence Skaggs and Verdon Marie VanDevender Skaggs. After high school, during the Korean war, Jim joined the army. He became a tank commander and platoon sergeant while serving. He then met and married Carol LaNea Reese in 1952 and they had six children, Susan, Julie, Shauna, Mike, Mellisa and Richard. Carol passed away in 1987. He was introduced to Adria Eason Chavis by dear friends, and they married in 1988. Adria had two sons, Sterling and Anthony. Together they have 31 grandchildren, 37 great-grandchildren and two great, great-grandchildren.

Jim was many things to many people. He was a loving husband, father, grandfather, great-grandfather, great, great-grandfather, and cherished friend. He served well in his church as a Ward Mission Leader, Scout Master, Stake High Councilman and served in many other ward positions. He loved the gospel of Jesus Christ and had a strong testimony of its truthfulness.

His life's work included acting and stunt work (Television-Gunsmoke, Death Valley Days, Six Million Dollar Man and more. Movies-Outlaw Josie Wells, Dual at Diablo, Rough Night in Jerico, Brigham Young, and more). When anyone called him a "Movie Star" he quickly corrected them, saying "I was not a movie star. I was just an actor!" He was a humble man! He ran a Melodrama Theater in Kanab, Utah, for 13 years. After moving to Thermopolis in 1994, he started a Melodrama that ran for five years. He and Adria then moved to Basin, Wyo., to work as House Parents at the Big Horn County Boys Group Home where he was able to help many young men find a better path in life. Jim also worked much of his life in the insurance business, and as County Planner. He was always very involved in community service and was a member of the Kiwanis Club.

The most important thing in Jim's life was his family. He loved all of his children and their families more than they might realize. He also loved his Father in Heaven and his Savior, Jesus Christ. His love and his goodness grew stronger throughout his entire life. One of the last things Jim was heard saying very enthusiastically was "GO JAZZ!" He loved his Utah Jazz Basketball Team.

He is survived by his wife, Adria Skaggs; children, Susan Honey of Utah, Julie (Jim) Fraser of Utah, Shauna (Lary) Smith of Utah, Mike (Brenda) Skaggs of Arizona, Mellisa (Loren) Motley of Texas, and Richard (Cindy) Skaggs of Utah; stepsons, Sterling Chavis of Wyoming and Anthony (Kaeti) Chavis of Utah.

Jim was preceded in death by his parents, Noah Clarence and Verdon Marie Skaggs; and his first wife, Carol LaNea Skaggs.

Services were held Tues., Feb. 6 in Basin under the direction of Atwood Family Funeral Home. Graveside services will be held at 11 a.m. on Friday, Feb. 9 in Kanab, Utah, under the direction of Mosdell Mortuary.


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