Dan Skoglund lived in Rancho Cordova since 1975. He was appointed to fill a vacancy on the City Council in 2004 to finish out the term of the late Dave Roberts. He was elected to a full term in 2006, 2010 and 2014 and served as Vice Mayor in 2008 and 2013 and as Mayor in 2009 and 2014.
Dan was a member and Vice Chair of the City's first Planning Commission. He has served as a president for many organizations, including the Rancho Cordova Rotary Club, the Cordova Community Council, the Active 20/30 Club, and the Sacramento chapter of the Professional Moving Association.Dan represented the City of Rancho Cordova at the Sacramento Regional County Sanitation District, the Sacramento Area Sewer District, the Sacramento Metropolitan Cable Television Commission, and the South Sacramento Habitat Conservation Plan Elected Advisory Board. He was a Relocation Consultant for California Moving Systems for 35 years. Dan passed away on April 20th, 2017.
Dan Skoglund Memorial Video:
Obituary:Dan Skoglund Obituary
Remarks by Curt Haven from Memorial Service:
During a lifetime -- if you are lucky -- you will have many friends, and different kinds of friends.
There are the friends you grow up with; the friends that knew you before you were a fully formed person. They are the kind of friends that though you may not see them for decades, when you meet up at your 30 year high school reunion, it is like you saw them yesterday.
There are the friends you make when you are tied together in a common cause: they are the guys you played football with; Army buddies; the people who had season’s tickets right next to yours. They are great friends in the moment, but if you have a flat tire, it’s not who you call.
There are the friends from church. The friends at work. The next door neighbor. Your in-laws.
And then there are the friends that don’t fit any special category, but are just there, part of your life, year after year after year.
That’s the kind of friend Dan Skoglund was for me.
I think I met Dan in the 1990s, either through Rotary or the Rancho Cordova Chamber. We struck up a friendship around common interests – business, family and community. We both liked to have a good laugh – though I can’t repeat what we laughed about.
We swapped stories about stupid things we did when we were young. We talked about our kids. We talked about business being good and business being bad. We talked about Rancho Cordova as we both were learning things we would need in the future.
Dan was a member of CORPAC, and really cared about how the community was evolving. But one thing I learned, as everybody else who knows him would learn, is once Dan gets his mind made up about something, look out. He could be very stubborn.
I also watched Dan at work at Rotary, where he was president of the club. I think all Rotarians will most remember him as the “Food Drive Guy.” For many years, Rotary would collect food and distribute it to needy families right around Christmas. Over time, Dan developed a process, and although there are a million ways to do this project, not so for Dan. We did it his way, and heaven helped the guy who wanted to change things. And it worked.
Dan was always a supporter of the kids over at Cordova High, where both his boys went to school. But it was bigger than that. For many years, Dan was a father figure to all kinds of kids as the Rotary advisor to the Cordova High Club called Interact.
He was a member of the team of Friday Night Warriors who shot off a cannon after Lancer touchdowns, getting a huge kick out of the many antic this Keystone Cops Crew would exhibit. In recent years, he became a champion of the Cordova High School Marching Band, heading up a fundraiser for new uniforms.
Over the years I knew Dan, I supported him as he tested the political waters. Like me, he ran for office, winning some and losing some, because that’s the way it works.
He helped us incorporate into a city, and then all that we learned in those CORPAC days suddenly became more important when his great friend Dave Roberts asked him to serve on the city’s first planning commission. As a new city, our city manager sent us on trips near and far to see and learn and grow. And so we traveled the country together, even beyond our borders to places like…………
When Dan became a city council member, the travels and meetings and no bull discussions continued. But we still would compare notes on our kids, our aging parents, and then our grandchildren.
We continued to swap stories about friends and adversaries alike in a way that only old friends can – no bull – or a ton of it – depending upon our mood. As our bodies began to feel the years, we talked a lot about that, too. Because that’s what friends are for.
I probably knew Dan as well as anybody outside his family knew him. And here’s how I would sum it up:
In a complicated world, Dan was stubbornly uncomplicated.
He delighted in ordinary things – like a great dinner, or a funny joke, or a great day at work.
He liked some things and others he didn’t, and was pretty plain about it.
He believed in the bright future of Rancho Cordova, and did what he could to make it happen.
He probably never imagined he would one day be mayor of his city, and when it happened, nobody was more proud.
He was quietly listening, even if you didn’t think he was.
He had a soft heart for those who were less fortunate than he, and did his best to fill the gaps. The Skoglund Family Fund has made Christmas merrier for hundreds of children over time, and will continue to do so into the future.
He was a proud father who delighted in the success of his sons.
He became a bowl of mush when he became a grandfather.
He adored Pam with all his soul. She was the light of his life.
What I learned from my friend Dan was that life is really pretty simple. Why we insist on making it complicated is a question for the ages.
It’s never easy saying good bye to a friend, but that’s what this is all about.
So here goes:
Thanks for laughing at my jokes.
Thanks for making me feel like an important person in your life.
Thanks for never ratting me out to my boss.
Thanks for a million great memories.
Good bye, Buddy. See you soon.
Remarks by David Sander from Memorial Service:
Dan and I were friends – but before that, we were colleagues.
We shared a passion for our community, and a strong sense of responsibility to our neighbors – a need to make things better.
We served on CORPAC together before the City of Rancho Cordova was incorporated, and then together on the City Council for the last 13 years.
You’ve heard a lot about Dan already here this morning – about his humor and sense of honor and decency, his stubbornness. His passion. About his deep love and respect for his family – something that was obvious to anyone who knew him.
I want to tell you more about what his life meant to many of us… About those he impacted in our community.
As near as I can tell, based on what he told me, Dan’s community service began with the Active 20/30 Club. This organization for 20-30 something men is a service club in our region and Dan was a stalwart member, and served as President eventually… He talked about their meetings being a lot of fun – and that they often ended when the police arrived, or the fire department, or an ambulance. Or all three. He talked about how they had worn out their welcome at numerous local establishments, their bar bills, and – most importantly – how they made a difference in the lives of a lot of children through the programs they put on.
As near as I can tell, that was the spark (perhaps literally) for Dan’s lifelong commitment to helping others in his community.
Next up in Dan’s civic life was a transition to the Rotary Club of Rancho Cordova – where he served in several roles you’ve heard about this morning. His knowledge of logistics and attention to detail, and flat out stubbornness served him well in Rotary. He also had a reservoir of pranks from the 20/30 Club that could now be reused… So whether it was holiday food baskets or the annual crabfeed – Dan executed tasks with determination and precision. For example, to set up a crabfeed – he would take precise measurements and design a table layout, and then prepare a stick used to make sure the spacing of tables was accurate and the place settings were where they were supposed to be. And it all worked.
After leadership in Rotary – Dan was elected as the President of the Cordova Community Council – you know them now as a big organization that does our spectacular events in Rancho Cordova and support our local nonprofits – but back in the day in the 1980’s – they were a smaller organization with the responsibility, among other things, to put on the annual July 4th Event in Hagan Park – primarily the Fireworks show. And in 1987 Dan was President and had to raise $3k for the show.
This was a critical time in Rancho Cordova, with Mather closing, and the need for change becoming obvious to community leaders.
Dan met the goal. He did it in part by challenging local PTA’s to step up and help – but importantly, this is also when he found his public voice in our community.
Because, in the very next year, Dan took the extraordinary step of running for public office to improve his community and fix the problems he saw – He ran for the Board of our local Parks District. He wasn’t successful in that race – but this was the beginning of his truly public leadership in our community.
Before long he was serving with me on CORPAC – where we met – and helping with Rancho Cordova’s incorporation efforts. He ran again for Park Board in 2002 at the same time as the City was voting to incorporate. He wasn’t successful, but he made a real mark in lots of people’s minds, and he was quickly appointed to the new City of Rancho Cordova’s Planning Commission.
He was outstanding in this position. He even attended nearly all of our City Council meetings – just to follow how the Council acted on the Commission’s recommendations. He was studious and conscientious, always looking for as much information as he could get on a topic.
And so, when in 2004 we lost our First Mayor, Councilman Dave Roberts, who was a long term friend of Dan’s – it was natural and unanimous that we should appoint Dan to Dave’s seat – and that’s how Dan became a City Councilman – or as he called himself, for nearly a decade, the “Junior Councilman”.
So I have to interject at this point, and give you a little sideline on the main story… You know Dan loved to tell funny stories, and tease people. Now, I can’t repeat many of those stories here… -- for context of course – but there is one I will risk. This was one of Dan’s favorite stories – and it wouldn’t be right not to have one of these stories here today…
Dan and Dave were good friends – they both loved Rancho Cordova, were active in the community, ran for office, had sons the same age and even coached some youth sports together, soccer and baseball. Early in this coaching partnership which included some other friends – Dan was looking over a clipboard of data about players that could be drafted to be on their team. The spreadsheet listed name, age, height, abilities, etc. And there was a column titled: “GLM”. What was GLM? Dan didn’t want to look silly, but he couldn’t figure out that acronym – so he asked … the other coach replied, “it stands for Good Looking Mother” – apparently an important consideration.
Dan and Dave also worked together on a little cannon Dave had and used in the end zone at Cordova High Football games – fired when when the Lancers scored. Lots more stories there… and booms.
Dan was a man of some uncommon knowledge – for example about quilts. He could regale you with the differences between batique fabrics and 20’s style fabric, of log cabin and bear paw patterns, machine quilting versus handquilting. We had this in common. We occasionally shocked our colleagues with this knowledge, because we were both married to quilters, and had seen our share of quilt shows, quilt shops. So when Dan talked about family “stash” – it wasn’t something illegal – it was the massive stash of fabric that your average quilter accumulates, in a box, closet, room or wing of your home…
He also had a sense of adventure – once he and I drove for hours late at night in Florida to see a Space Shuttle launch.
Dan had a way of charming people – bring them to his side, and engaging them. I’m going to miss him greeting me as “Doc” or “Dr. Sander”.
And the community responded to his charm – and labeled him as well. “Skogie” was common, as was “Pipes” – because he was the City Council’s representative on the Sacramento Area Sewer Board. So like in the old Cheer’s TV show, Dan walked into a room, “PIPES!”. “Pipes” liked that name, except when he was serving as Mayor.
Of course we had fun while he was Mayor… Each of us on the Council became known for the things that happened during our 1 year term as Mayor – Bob McGarvey seemed to be the guy to cut ribbons on new facilities like City Hall – he was always opening things as Mayor. When I’m Mayor, for whatever reason, we tended to tear things down. Stagger Inn, First Value Inn, etc.
Well, when Dan was Mayor – not to be outdone – we soon noticed that things tended to get explosive – literally. During his first term as Mayor a house blew up due to a gas leak. During his second round as Mayor, an apartment explosion occurred. We kidded him about his third term and wondered what would go up in smoke next… And a New Nickname: “BoomBoom Skoglund”.
When the time came for Dan to run for election in his own right to the City Council – he was quite nervous. He told me, “David, I know the things that I’m good at and elections are not one of them”. But that turned out not to be true. Dan was elected 3 times to the City Council. I should say that logistically, those elections were impressive…
Dan also remained a great community leader and volunteer – As our July 4th Events grew to be the largest in the region – we needed more and more volunteers to make them happen – and Dan stepped up, becoming our “Roadie in Chief”. His job? Escort the rock bands we were bringing in from the airport, to their hotels, and their trailers in Hagan Park. He was outstanding at this. Even when certain bands requested certain colors of M&Ms backstage. And he got to hang out with great musicians he loved like the Coasters, Heat Wave and Kansas. He tackled this job with aplomb, and with his usual precision about logistics. I also know he loved the fireworks… BoomBoom Skoglund.
Dan as a Councilman and Mayor – focused on fiscal issues, and issues for seniors, and ways to help kids. He could be a stubborn bear on an issue that he really cared about – and a strong advocate as well. And for a politician – he was very honest.
He even deferred becoming Mayor for one year so that he could take care of other work responsibilities. That’s integrity you don’t often see…
His leadership brought about the Skoglund Family Toy Drive beginning in 2009 – which provided toys for needy kids at Christmas, and has grown into the giant Christmas in Cordova event which you’ve probably heard about. His memorial fund now has that same goal – to help needy kids. I commend it to you.
He was also supportive in launching the professionalization of the Cordova Community Council (as a past president), and it’s many endeavors in or community, and supportive more recently of the Rancho Cordova Athletic Association – to promote youth sports.
As always, Dan had a huge heart for his community. In preparing these remarks, I searched the online archive of the Grapevine, our local newspaper. There were 446 hits for “Dan Skoglund.” – that’s impact.
There’s a quote of Abraham Lincoln’s which I really like, and I know Dan did too. And it applies here.
Lincoln said, “I like to see a man proud of the place where he lives, and I like to see that place proud of the man.”
That certainly applies to Dan.
Dan and I were friends. Friends under fire. Colleagues. Surrounded by quilts. Surrounded by quilts and the occasional explosion.
And it is really hard to say goodbye.
So Dan, Pipes, Roadie, BoomBoom Skoglund, Skogie. Thank you for the memories, the laughs, the love, and the goodwork. We miss you, and we’ll never forget you, and we’ll see you soon.
And Dan, we are very, very proud of you.
God Bless You All.