Obituary: Paul Gordon Skirvin

Obituary: Paul Gordon Skirvin


August 1, 1929 — July 1, 2019

Paul Skirvin passed away peacefully at his Philomath home on July 1, 2019.

Paul was born August 1, 1929, near Molalla, Oregon to Enoch Skirvin and Gertrude Kyllo Skirvin. He was raised on a farm in the Marquam area where he learned many of his skills in building and repairing equipment. He graduated from Molalla High School in 1948 and enjoyed his annual high school reunions, maintaining life-long connections with his classmates.

Paul married Lola Plumley Lorain in Corvallis on March 3, 1973. They made Philomath their home.

Paul lost the love of his life, Lola, to cancer on August 19, 2018.

Paul was a self-employed contract logger, serving as President of Enoch Skirvin & Sons, Inc, with his brothers, Walter and Carl. Wayne Howard of Philomath helped the company build their shop building where the logging company repaired and built equipment for themselves and others.

Paul moved to Philomath in 1958 when Enoch Skirvin & Sons started logging for Rex Clemens. After Clemens sold his timberland in 1972, the company logged for Willamette Industries, Inc., in the Marcola/Springfield/Cottage Grove area.

In 1966, he received his pilot’s license and utilized his private runway near his home for many flights around the country for both business and pleasure. That private runway later proved significant in restarting the Philomath rodeo.

Paul’s hobbies very much reflected his life’s passions: collecting antique tractors and caterpillars; flying and piloting his airplanes, horseback riding and rodeoing.

Paul was a board member of the Two Cylinder Club (Antique Tractor Club), member of Antique Caterpillar Machinery Owners Club and chairman of Philomath Antique Tractor Pull.

As a long-time member of Associated Oregon Loggers, he served as State President, State Vice President, District Representative and chair of the Marys Peak Chapter. He was a board member of the Philomath High School Forestry Club and co-chaired the Philomath Forestry Show.

Paul was proud to be a member of the Oregon Mounted Governors Guard, having served as past First Lieutenant and Captain. He rode his horse in several Rose Parades as part of the Governors Guard.

Paul and brothers, Walter and Carl were instrumental in restarting the Philomath Frolic & Rodeo in 1983, generously allowing use of their private property to stage rodeo events and where eventually the arena, stands and chutes were built. Paul served as rodeo chairman, Vice President of the Philomath Frolic & Rodeo and on the board of directors for the Northwest Professional Rodeo Association.

After 35 years of permission of using his property for rodeo events, in 2018 Paul and Lola Skirvin (Skirvin Farms LLC) donated 20 acres to the City of Philomath, specifically subject to the City providing a long-term agreement with the Philomath Frolic & Rodeo Association. That land, now Skirvin Park, is only for community-wide purposes and Frolic & Rodeo events.

Paul Skirvin lived his life with the understanding you only get from life what you put into it. When asked for help, he didn’t know how to say no. He helped with a number of community projects such as the Forest Building on the Alsea Highway; the new Philomath Fire Department, the Philomath High School football bleachers; the new Philomath Library; the High School Forestry Building; the Philomath Rodeo Grounds and probably ones that have been forgotten.

As a member of the Philomath Chamber of Commerce, he brought in his own equipment to provide grading, gravel and leveling of the grounds for the Chamber office site. He also helped with the library site; served on the Philomath School Budget Committee and as a board member on the Forest Products State Advisory.

Paul was predeceased by wife Lola; his parents; two brothers; and six sisters.

He is survived by one brother, Charles of Salem; sisters, Diane Johnson of Scio and Deborah Weaver of Corvallis; two step-sons, Tim Lorain and Steve Lorain of Philomath; and numerous nieces and nephews.

Visitation will be from 9 to 11 a.m. on Monday, July 15, at McHenry’s Funeral Home in Corvallis. A graveside funeral service will be at 1 p.m. that same day at Maplewood Pioneer Cemetery, Scotts Mills. A celebration of life will be held at a later date in Philomath.

Condolences may be left at

In lieu of flowers please consider contributions to: Philomath High School Forestry Program, Philomath Community Services, Philomath Youth Activities Club, or Philomath Scout Lodge.


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