In Memoriam: ‘Skip’ Sherbak
“Q. You worked for the railroad from 1947 to '49?
“A. Yeah. They made me (section) foreman cause I could read and write. I'd fill out the timecards. I knew nothing about the damn railroad, more or less.”
So began John Milton “Skip” Sherbak's “In Their Own Words” interview with the Westside Pioneer in February 2004. The lively question/answer session with the native Westsider, then 75, covered a lifetime that also involved 70 to 80 professional boxing matches, underage bartending in Old Colorado City, serving in the Korean War, being married 58 years, raising his brother's three children after he was killed in a car accident, living in the house his carpenter father built in 1926, and running his TV repair business (Skip's Mountain TV) for more than 50 years.
Sherbak died Oct. 2 at age 82. Cause of death was cardiac arrest.
He was born March 9, 1929. His parents were John and Sarah Sherbak.
Private services will be held, according to a published obituary.
His wife, Amanda Louise ”Lou” Sherbak, preceded him in death Sept. 18. They had been married since 1952.
Growing up in the Midland area of the Westside, Sherbak went to Midland Elementary, West Junior High and Colorado Springs High School (now Palmer), where he first got into electronics, he said in the Pioneer interview.
Sherbak's father also had worked for the Midland railroad (1926-1942). During his three years, the younger Sherbak worked mostly on crews repairing track. He was “not happy” when the Midland ended its service in February 1949, he said in the Pioneer interview. “It was how everyone felt. We were out of work. A big employer was out of business. I was down there in the yard, and I was supposed to start tearing track out, and I said 'I'm quitting.'”
Enlisting in the Navy, he served from 1950 to 1954, learning more about electronics and serving on the USS Quincy during the Korean War. This earned him a National Defense Service medal, Korean Service Medal and the United Nations Service Medal, according to the obituary.
“Skip and Lou met in San Diego,” the obituary also states. “Skip was playing skeeball and Lou was a barmaid.”
He and Lou owned a liquor store for a time, called Skip's Liquor. He also began working in TV repair. He started Skip's Mountain TV in the mid-'50s, earning a reputation as someone who could solve challenging repair problems. He closed the business in 2008.
Sherbak is survived by his foster children, Mark, Bret and Lisa; and three grandchildren. He is survived by his sister, Anna May (Dean) Garcia. Her son, Brian Garcia, worked for Skip at times and was close to him until the end.
Note: The full “In Their Own Words” interview with Sherbak can be found in the Pioneer's online archives at westsidepioneer.com.
Westside Pioneer article