Commonwealth Journal

November 19, 2013

Former local official Padgett dead at 81

by Bill Mardis
Commonwealth Journal

Somerset — A former Somerset city councilor who held numerous other positions in city and county government has died. Eugene “Skip” Padgett was 81.

Padgett, known for his deadpan humor, worked closely with both the city and county. He ignored the traditional split between the government entities.

A member of Somerset City Council from 1976 to 1985, Padgett was also city building inspector and was the council’s representative on the Somerset Planning Commission.

For county government, Padgett was fire coordinator during the administration of John W. Garner. He (Padgett) was instrumental in organizing several of the county’s volunteer fire departments including Parkers Mill, Woodstock, White Lily, Mt. Victory and Shopville.  

“‘Skip’ was always very kind to me,” remembers former Pulaski County Judge-executive Darrell BeShears. “When I first went into office and needed help, ‘Skip’ would do anything he could for me.”

Former Somerset City Clerk Clarence Love remembers Padgett as a “very efficient” building inspector for the city. “He was always loyal to the city,” Love said.

Padgett loved Somerset. Oftentimes, late at night, he was still “hanging around” city hall, talking with policemen and firefighters. City Hall was a second home to him. “Skip” made people around him laugh. He never took himself too seriously.

“His parents, Norman and Juanita, and his grandparents were reared in West Somerset a couple of houses from the former West Somerset Post Office,” Love said. Padgett’s roots run deep in Somerset and Pulaski County.

Padgett entered into the United States Air Force in 1951 and served his country for 20 years, attaining the rank of E-8 Senior Master Sergeant. He enjoyed gardening and restoring antique cars. He was a member and deacon of First Presbyterian Church.

  Visitation for Mr. Padgett was last night at Somerset Undertaking Company. Burial will be at 1 p.m. today in Somerset Cemetery.