Aug. 8, 1944-July 23, 2023
Redwood Estates, California
Skip Light, a long-time resident of Redwood Estates in the Santa Cruz Mountains, died at age 78 on Sunday, July 23, of cardiac heart failure. Retired after several careers, his last years were spent cooking and baking for family and friends, taking jaunts on his e-assist bike, following his Bay Area sports teams, fulminating over politics and world affairs, and telling jokes to strangers and friends, young and old, store clerks and adjacent drivers at red lights.
Born in Philadelphia, PA, Skip moved with his family to Palo Alto when he was about 10. He graduated from Palo Alto HIgh School in 1962, having lettered in wrestling and tennis. He completed his bachelor's degree in therapeutic recreation at San Jose State University in 1973. During that same time, he enrolled in the Army National Guard, serving six years with an honorable discharge.
Beginning in 1971, he began an 18-year career in mental health services, working first as a counselor at Miramonte Mental Health Services in Palo Alto, then continuing there as a family therapist and finally as program director of two residential treatment programs.
After surviving the disaster of the Loma Prieta Earthquake in 1989, Skip began a 15-year career in construction, building on skills he learned while expanding and remodeling his Redwood Estates home. He also worked for a time with T F McGuckin General Contractors as a site superintendent.
From a young age, Skip had a strong interest in photography, inspired by his Uncle Charles Demetriades, who gave him his first camera and took him on photo shoots. Photography then became a third career for him, as he earned money doing weddings, portraits and special occasions. During the 1990s and early 2000s, he photographed donor events and special occasions for San Jose State University, including all of the events during the university's 150th anniversary-year celebrations.
On his own time, nature photography was his passion. He captured the birds, flowers and landscapes of the California coastline, Merced Bird Preserve, Yosemite, Florida's Honeymoon and Myakka State Parks, Canada's Vancouver Island, and Hawaii, among others. He also enjoyed finding abstract compositions in nature.
Long known for his sense of humor, his generosity and the twinkle in his eye, Skip leaves behind a wide circle of treasured friends and acquaintances. He is survived by his wife, Sylvia of Redwood Estates: sister Cynthia Mitchell of Scotts Valley; two nieces, Katy Cohen and Kelly Berg: and many cousins. He was tickled to be called Grandpa Skip by Sylvia's two grandchildren, Tanner Hutchinson and Ean Mills. Always a lover of cats and dogs, he leaves behind two beloved kitties, Batu and Bella.