To Richard Gordon Skare (known as Rich), the entire world was a stage. An expressive, good hearted and uninhibited individual, he was a performer in the theater of life. He seemed to be eternally happy and he willingly shared joy with anyone whose life he touched. For Rich, bringing out the best in any situation was as easy as offering a warm welcome, a witty remark or a twinkle of an eye. With just those simple gestures, he could establish a connection with people and evoke the most pleasant of feelings. In his relationships and his music Rich mastered the art of living and he had great fun in doing so. Rich was born on May 11,...
To Richard Gordon Skare (known as Rich), the entire world was a stage. An expressive, good hearted and uninhibited individual, he was a performer in the theater of life. He seemed to be eternally happy and he willingly shared joy with anyone whose life he touched. For Rich, bringing out the best in any situation was as easy as offering a warm welcome, a witty remark or a twinkle of an eye. With just those simple gestures, he could establish a connection with people and evoke the most pleasant of feelings. In his relationships and his music Rich mastered the art of living and he had great fun in doing so.
Rich was born on May 11, 1971 at Kaiser Permanente Hospital in Santa Clara, California. Rich was raised in Mountain View and San Jose, California. His parents were Gordon and Sylvia Skare and he was raised with two siblings: an older brother Russell and a younger sister Sharon. As a child Rich had a striking ability to lift the spirits of those around him. He was warm, caring and friendly and yet he marched to the beat of a different drummer. He couldn't help but capture everyone's attention. He was a little bit of a show-off but he succeeded in entertaining those around him. Due to a generous dose of quick-wittedness and common sense as well, Rich also often managed to see things realistically and find solutions to basic problems.
Rich possessed a lively imagination, a sharp mind and an enthusiasm for life that allowed him to be constantly on-the -go. As a result Rich experienced a rather active childhood and this suited him very well. Throughout his life he was extremely dedicated, steadfast and passionate about those things that interested him. As a small child he loved to read "the Great Brain" books by John D. Fitzgerald and to watch "The Electric Company." Rich's memorable achievements included being able to read at the age of 2 and being able to recite the entire "Night Before Christmas" at the age of 3.
He enjoyed baseball, swimming, computers and Pac-man games. Rich felt excited and challenged by sports. Even if he wasn't the best he loved to participate. Rich relished the opportunities where he could make an impact and he would often push himself to play above his abilities. Later in his life he became a loyal Giants baseball fan.
Rich enjoyed his leisure time by taking part in musical pursuits. In high school Rich participated in band and orchestra. He travelled across the United States every summer competing within some of the very best Drum and Bugle Corps in the world (the Santa Clara Vanguard and the Concord Blue Devils) for several years. After this period of time his favorite pursuits were senior level Drum and Bugle Corps (San Francisco Renegades and Frontier in Texas) and playing in parades as well as Columbus Day and 4th of July celebrations. He was also honored to perform at funeral services for friends. Later in life his primary interest was music. He said he felt that it gave meaning to his life.
Ask anyone who knew him from school and they will tell you that Rich was a bright, fun-loving and sensitive individual. Rich truly enjoyed others' laughter and the sounds of his friends and acquaintances having a good time. He enjoyed hands-on learning and his favorite class in high school was Band. Rich graduated from St. Francis High School in Mountain View, California in 1989. He earned a generous music scholarship to California State University Northridge and he attended there for some time before returning to the Bay Area.
Rich seemed to almost never encounter a stranger in his dealings with people. He was drawn to individuals and crowds and he was routinely able to captivate his audience with his gregarious, silly and outgoing personality. This quality allowed Rich to continually establish new close relationships and widen his circle of friends on an ongoing basis. Whether with a story, a joke, a non-sequitur, a song or just plain fooling around, Rich was always at home putting on a show for his friends. Not only did he enjoy making connections with people and having fun with them, but he also truly valued each individual for who they were. He remembered the small details of people's lives and he took the initiative to call friends and family on a regular basis to catch up.
While growing up some of his best friends were his classmates at St. Cyprian Catholic School in Sunnyvale, California. Later on he had hundreds of drum and bugle corps friends. He also had a deep and obvious regard for his school teachers as well as the instructors and staff of each of the musical groups in which he performed.
Rich was a lover of animals and he cherished his pets. He enjoyed being around animals almost as much as he enjoyed being around other people. Rich's most beloved pet was Binky, a female cat with one eye. They were best friends for 12 years. The Skare family was rounded out by their dogs: Red Dog, Thor, and RustyBart.
In work as in life, Rich was both a real "people-person" and clever. Rich was self-employed and he owned a carpet cleaning and upholstery company. Unsurprisingly, he loved his customers and managed to cultivate a very loyal customer base. Rich was also adaptable and realistic when dealing with various projects and problems. Rich's talent for being a down-to-earth and independent thinker was strong and evident to those around him.
Rich liked to live his life a little bit on the edge. He was impulsive and willing to try anything once. It is no surprise that he loved to travel and to visit new and different places. He was curious and he sought adventure. Because of his personality, his humor, and his ability to get along with people, Rich's service was greatly valued by the organizations to which he belonged. He was always ready to join in the fun and add his flair, energy and hard work to an organization. He was charitable, kind and giving - qualities which made him a natural volunteer. Politically Rich was a Conservative Independent.
Vested with a deep concern for spiritual development, throughout his life Rich recognized that his faith was important to him. He was a member of St. Cyprian Catholic Church in Sunnyvale, California and St. Francis of Assisi in San Jose, California. Rich also enjoyed Mass at the mission at San Juan Bautista, California.
Rich passed away on November 26, 2010 at Holy Family Catholic Church in San Jose, California. He is survived by his parents Sylvia and Gordon, his older brother Russell and his younger sister Sharon. Services were held at Oak Hill Funeral Home in the Chapel of the Oaks.
Rich brought joy to all of those around him. He was a compassionate and sensitive person. He felt the pain of others and he shed tears for those who suffered. Rich loved to have a good time and he was a resilient optimist. He loved to share his energy, wit and zest for his activities with his friends and family. Rich Gordon Skare lived life passionately and made people around him happier just for knowing him. He will be remembered fondly and greatly missed.
Arrangements under the direction of Oak Hill Funeral Home & Memorial Park, San Jose, CA.