Puyallup: News

Former Herald reporter dies unexpectedly

Award-winning journalist Shawn Skager, 47, died unexpectedly Aug. 18 leaving behind a treasure trove of family and friends, who all miss him dearly.

He is survived by his wife Theresa and children Conner and Hannah Skager of Tacoma, daughter Katy Bleazard of Utah and his mother Shirley Skager of Federal Way. He was preceded in death by his father John and sister Farah.

Growing up, Skager moved around every three years or so because his father was in the U.S. Navy, living in Australia, Greece, California and Utah.

He spent most of his adult life in Tacoma, but also loved spending time with family in North Dakota. After working odd jobs, including stints in retail and at Tower Records, he found his calling in journalism. He was just a couple credits shy of an Associate’s Degree from Tacoma Community College when he took his first journalism job as sports editor of The Puyallup Herald in 2000. He’d go on to work at the Enumclaw Courier-Herald, the Auburn Reporter and was editor of the fledgling Sumner Reporter, repeatedly winning awards from the Society of Professional Journalists and was even a finalist for sports reporter of the year by the Washington Newspaper Publishers Association.

Skager worked with the Northwest Music Scene and found his way onto a radio show at NWCZradio.com, where he went on to co-create the “Hooligan Honky Radio Hour” and “We Ugly Stay Humble,” where he co-hosted under the name of “Loadz.” His love of music led him to write and take concert photography for several local publications and musicians.

When his sister died last year, Skager noted that she had taught him so much about compassion, empathy, patience and unconditional love.

“These lessons will be with me forever,” he said. “You always made me laugh and it was impossible to be in a bad mood when you were around.”

Those words could just as well have been said about Shawn, who taught us all to live one day at a time and never to take a single day for granted.

In lieu of donations or flowers, hug your loved ones and listen to a Rush or Iron Maiden song of your choice.

A memorial video is located at http://bit.ly/shawnskager.