OBITUARY

Elmer Peterson Skaarup, Jr.

April 19, 1946September 22, 2020
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Elmer Peterson Skaarup, Jr., 74, a retired Chief Fire Marshal of the City of North Las Vegas Fire Department, passed away September 22, 2020. He was born on April 19, 1946 in Los Angeles, California and was adopted by his parents, Elmer Peterson Skaarup, Sr. and Louise Skaarup. Elmer was an Army veteran, serving from 1962-1966 in Vietnam, earning the rank of Sergeant First Class/E-7. He was dedicated to fire service for his entire professional career, serving as a Firefighter, Fire Marshal, and Senior Fire Inspector. Elmer is survived by his wife, Rose, and his adopted children. Services and burial were held at the Southern Nevada Veterans Memorial Cemetery in Boulder City, Nevada. Arrangements were made with Palm Southwest Mortuary.

Services

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Memories

Elmer Peterson Skaarup, Jr.

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Sandra Ladd

October 9, 2020

I was so saddened to hear of Joes passing. Joe was one of a kind, and so down to earth. I learned a lot from him and was blessed to have worked with him at NNSS F&R.
I remember I once thought I was helping Joe out by cleaning his coffee cup while he was out of the office. Joe had a good sense of humor, thank goodness.
My thoughts and prayers are with you and your family Rose.

Henry Pazos

October 7, 2020

My thoughts and prayers go out to Joe's family. I really enjoyed working with him, he was a real asset to the Nevada National Security Site. Joe was a kind, genuine person. We are going to miss him.

Chris Hersh

October 5, 2020

When Joe entered a room his presence was admired. If you started a conversation with him, you knew you were going to enjoy the story he was about to tell. His experience's were shared freely to anyone and you knew he was going to give you something to ponder. We all miss his smile and stories. Its an honor to have had him in our lives.
Prayers and blessing to the Skaarup Family.

Michael Twork

October 4, 2020

My first meeting was September/2005 when I was a Fire Alarm Technician, great person always level headed and looking out for Fire safety and the people. Fare winds and following seas in your next journey.
Mike Twork DAF Maintenance manager.

Dennis Fulkerson

October 1, 2020

Joe was a great friend and mentor. He taught me a lot about life and the DOE/NNSA world. He will always have a special place in my heart and he will be greatly missed. He lives on in memories saved and highly cherished. RIP Great Fire Fighter. Thoughts and prayers to his best friend and wife, Rose.

James Millan

October 1, 2020

Joe was a very special person and will be missed. I truly enjoyed speaking with him while he worked at the NNSS. He was truly down to earth and I valued his counsel on life. I have and will miss him. My prayers go out to his family.

Biography

Elmer Peterson Skaarup Jr. was a natural leader whose winning presence allowed him to take control of various situations with ease. Equipped with a clear and calculating focus, he possessed a tough-minded, “take charge” attitude. Sociable, analytical and pleasant, Elmer was an individual who enjoyed life’s challenges.

Elmer was born on April 19, 1946 in Los Angeles, California and was adopted by his parents, Elmer Peterson Skaarup, Sr. and Louise Skaarup. Elmer possessed adept interpersonal skills and was raised to be a strong-willed and confident man. In 1962, at the age of 16, Elmer joined the Army and saw action in Vietnam from 1962-1966. He was in the Alpha Troop (Airmobile), 2nd Squadron (Air Assault), 17th Cavalry, and 101st Airborne Division. He achieved the rank of Sergeant First Class/E-7. He received several awards including a Purple Heart, Parachute Badge, Vietnam Service Medal and Bronze Service Star, Vietnam Campaign Medal with Device (1960), and a National Defense Service Medal. He showed leadership qualities and could make tough decisions when he was called upon to do so.

When the goal of college was in sight, it became important to Elmer. Again, his direct, “down to earth” approach served him well. He was able to absorb complex concepts and had an acute sense of how things worked. He was a graduate of the Nevada Law Enforcement Academy and received his AAS Degree in both Fire Science and Fire Administration, both with honors, from Fort Steilacoom Community College in 1976. He also graduated from the National Fire Academy in Arson Investigation and Fire Protection Inspections. He earned his Bachelor of Science in Safety Engineering from American Western University in Tulsa, Oklahoma. He later pursued graduate school, earning his Masters of Science in Industrial Management from AWU, Tulsa.

Elmer was a leader who was quick to make necessary decisions, always being able to think on his feet. Throughout his career, Elmer was a Firefighter, Fire Marshal, and Senior Fire Inspector. He had been employed by the City of North Las Vegas Fire Department since March 1989 as chief of the division. Over his many years with the department, Chief Skaarup received various certificates, including an instructor certificate for the Investigation of Fires and Post Blast back in 1993, and was nationally certified as a fire investigator by the International Association of Arson Investigators and Nation Professional Qualifications Board. He was also on the team that received the U.S. Senate Productivity Award in 1995. Elmer was dedicated to fire service for his entire professional career.

On November 30, 2012 Elmer exchanged wedding vows with Rose Veronica Paloma at the Clark County Justice Court of Las Vegas, Nevada. Elmer was attentive to Rose's feelings, and he charmed Rose and others with his gift for being able to give freely and generously. A good listener with an engaging personality, Elmer was able to bring pleasure and unexpected humor to the relationship. From his previous two marriages, Elmer adopted six children whom he raised to have both common sense and a strong sense of responsibility. Elmer’s family was rounded out by his two dogs, Emmy and Max. Emmy, a Bully-mix, was his service dog for 6 years, and Max, a yellow Labrador, was her playmate.

Elmer enjoyed his leisure time by taking part in various hobbies, such as going to the gun range, fishing, and diving. He was also an active member of the National Safety Council (NSC), the International Association of Arson Investigators (IAAI), the National Safety Management Society (NSMS), NFPA International, American Society for Industrial Security (ASIS), American Society of Safety Engineers (ASSP), the Nevada Fire Chiefs Association, Inc., and the Nevada Fire Marshals Association. Politically, Elmer was a strong independent, supporting the Republican Party.

When Elmer’s retirement finally came in 2013, he took new pleasure in traveling. He preferred to seek out excitement wherever he went and he was partial to vacations that were casual and laid back. Some of his favorite vacations included Mexico, the Philippines, and the beaches of California.

Elmer passed away on September 22, 2020 at Desert Springs Hospital in Las Vegas, Nevada after fighting Parkinson's to the end. He is survived by his wife, Rose, and his adopted children. Services and burial were held at the Southern Nevada Veterans Memorial Cemetery in Boulder City, Nevada. Arrangements were made with Palm Southwest Mortuary.

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