On January 5, 2020, Karl John Skindingsrude, 62, peacefully went home to be with the Lord. Earth lost a great man and Heaven gained quite the entertainer.
He was born in Fort Atkinson, WI on April 28,1957 to Russell and Ann Skindingsrude. He displayed a love for cars (and anything with a motor) from an early age, knowing every make and model on the road. His happy childhood included working in the family businesses, Skindingsrude Furniture Store and Skindingsrude Funeral Home, both in Whitewater, WI. Graduating from Whitewater High School in 1975, he went to work at the Hawthorne Mellody dairy plant in his hometown. After moving to Reedsburg, WI, Karl worked deliveries and the parts counter at Hartje Implement. After a one week trip out west, Karl heard the call of the mountains. At 24, he packed his GMC pickup and drove west, settling in Columbia Falls, MT. Continuing his extreme work ethic, he found a job the next day at Courtesy Motors in Whitefish, resulting in his long and successful career in parts. He became co-owner of NAPA Auto Parts in Columbia Falls in 1992. He “turned in his keys” in 2013, retiring to enjoy life and time with family and friends.
Everyone knows that Karl loved anything that used gasoline! However, his love for people, staying in touch with friends old and new, making people smile, remembering faces, names, and facts about YOU, and making others feel special was his hobby and personal calling. His commitment to others included being a Lifetime Blood Donor. His extreme contribution to the Columbia Falls community earned him countless citizen achievement awards. His instantly recognizable voice resounded through the radio making locally famous the slogan…NAPA NAPA NAPA and cheering on the Wildcats with winning pride. If you didn’t know Karl, you didn’t live in Columbia Falls. Karl will truly be missed…
Karl loved Nascar before it became popular and enjoyed trips to Florida for the Daytona 500. He participated in 4×4 clubs, taking photos for memories on film, playing tour guide, and traveling to class reunions in Whitewater. His greatest achievement and highlight of his life were his daughters, Keshia Jo and Karly Jean. Every heartbeat was an expression of love for his girls…and then his grandchildren, Noeley, Harper, Kingston, Deacon and baby Clarke. We will miss you, Dad…Grandpa…
Karl is preceded in death by his parents, Russell and Ann Skindingsrude, as well as his paternal and maternal grandparents. He is survived by his beloved daughters, Keshia (Christopher) Fisher of Coram, MT, and Karly Skindingsrude of Columbia Falls, MT; sister, Krista (Harry) Davis of Janesville, WI; brothers, Kirk (Mindy) Skindingsrude of Eagle River, WI and Eddie (Becky) Skindingsrude of Whitewater, WI; his grandchildren Noeley, Harper, Kingston, Deacon, and Clarke Fisher of Coram, MT; aunts, cousins, nieces and nephews; and an unknown but large number of loving friends.
Join his family in celebrating his life at Columbia Falls High School gymnasium at 1 p.m., Sunday, January 26, 2020. A private burial is being held.
In lieu of flowers, the family asks that gifts be sent payable to: Karly Skindingsrude (memo: Karl Skindingsrude’s Memorial Fund) PO Box 130139 Coram MT 59913 or Freedom Bank, P.O. Box 2076, Columbia Falls, MT 59912. A donation to his community will be done at a later date in his honor.
Columbia Mortuary in Columbia Falls, Montana is caring for Karl’s family.