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Local man serves city of Waxahachie for 41 years

By Patty Hullett
For the Daily Light

Terry Skipper was born and raised in Waxahachie, and he still lives here today.

He graduated from the local high school and was a member of the Class of 1979. He admits that he didn’t play sports in school, but he did participate for several years in the city’s baseball leagues around town.

Skipper has diligently worked for the city of Waxahachie for 41 years – the first 35 years as he faithfully served as a Waxahachie firefighter. Most recently, he has continued his “city” tenure by joining the full-time ranks of the Waxahachie Parks and Recreation Department for an additional six years. He hopes to keep working in this position until he gets to retirement age, and possibly even longer.

According to Parks Supervisor Steve Hamm, some of Skipper’s co-workers call him “The Historian.” Hamm relays, “I have been with the city myself for 23 years, so Terry and I have been friends for over 20 years as co-workers. This man is so knowledgeable about houses, buildings, who owns them, etc., in Waxahachie, that he is unbelievable.”

Skipper says, “While working as a fireman and having some days off in my rotating shifts, I was also able to be employed by the Parks department for about 18 years in a part-time capacity. Living here all my life, I have acquired a good deal of knowledge concerning the old buildings and their interesting histories. And yes, it’s mainly because of my ability to serve so long for the city that I grew up in. It has given me a great opportunity to see the many changes over the years, and my being a fireman for so many years allowed me to meet a variety of people in town." He says he has always been interested in the history of the Waxahachie community and enjoys reflecting on the past. One of his favorite pastimes is collecting old pictures and memorabilia from the city's earlier days. 

Skipper is currently a maintenance worker on the facility crew. Some of his major job

responsibilities for the Parks and Recreation department include maintaining the facilities at the parks, ensuring they are functioning properly, taking care of water leaks, general maintenance, etc., as well as the upkeep of the rodeo arena for events, helping at other town functions, or just pretty much anything that is needed along the way.

"My favorite part of the job,” says Skipper, “is working with the public and helping folks out when I can. I truly enjoy talking with the park guests when I get an opportunity.” His biggest dislike of the job, though, is when people trash and disrespect the parks and facilities. "I wish these folks would show more appreciation for the parks and amenities that our city has to offer them,” he added. 

He confesses, “I have always enjoyed outdoors more than being inside. Being a fireman for 35 years prepared me for the heat in the summer, but the winters do get a little tougher the older I get. Working for the Parks department generally means that I’m outside most of the time.”

“Waxahachie has always had a small town charm to it, and I hope as the city grows, that we don’t lose that in the future," he says. "To me, this is what makes our town a special place to live.”

Terry Skipper and his wife Lanette Skipper have been married for 37 years. They have two grown sons, Justin Skipper and Brandon Skipper.