Skip Saffores

June 4, 1949 ~ August 24, 2020 (age 71)

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 Rene’ Orell Saffores “Skip”, 71, passed away at his home in Marshville, N.C. on August 24, 2020 with his wife Kathryn Ponder Saffores and kids by his side. He fought a valiant battle with pancreatic cancer including a clinical trail he survived that will forever change how pancreatic cancer is treated.

Skip was born on June 4, 1949 and grew up in Sonoma, C.A. with his parents, Orell and Fran Saffores and his siblings, Reve and Boge. He was a highly accomplished athlete playing sports at Sonoma Valley High and being inducted into the Hall of Fame. He moved with his family to N.C. in 1968 where he graduated from N.C. State in 1973 with a degree in Business and Economics. Skip’s college athletic accomplishments included playing both basketball and football at N.C. State, being granted a football scholarship and even coaching with famous basketball coach, Norm Sloan. Skip would continue to excel in athletics as we would go on to be recruited by the Oakland Raiders after graduation.

Returning home to Marshville, Skip would join his father, Sass in growing Jefferson Turkey Farms into one of the largest independent turkey producers in S.C. as well as operating his own trucking firm. Skip was known for his hard work ethic and ability to build and fix anything. He weathered many business endeavors but was always there for the little man. Skip was always a phone call away for anyone that needed help and truly enjoyed giving back to those around him in his community including being a long time member of the infamous H.A.S.O.B organization.

When Skip wasn’t driving his truck alongside his dog, Sport; he could be found at home, on his farm in Marshville with his wife, Kathryn and his kids and grandkids. The family spent many days lakeside, fishing and watching the sunset while Skip mastered the grill as he was known for his legendary turkey and other smoked meats. In recent years “Big Pop” would join his grandkids on side by side rides through the woods along trails he had carved for their enjoyment. When Skip and Kathryn could arrange it they would travel together visiting the many family and friends that Skip had touched over the years.
Skip is preceded in death by his parents, Sass and Fran Saffores and his son, Heath.

 Skip is survived by his loving wife of 21 years, Kathryn Ponder Saffores, his children, Sommer (Matt) Belk and Casey (Meagan) Smith and 6 grandchildren, Shelby, Maeley and Saddie Belk and Crewson, Beckett and baby girl Smith due in October. Skip is also survived by his sister, Reve Taylor of Granite Bay, C.A. and brother Boge (Cheryl) Saffores of Wilsonville, O.R. and 3 nieces, 3 nephews, 5 grand nieces and 2 grand nephews as well as beloved father and mother in law Bill and Loretta Ponder of Monroe, N.C. He will also be sorely missed by his large extended family, his AFS sister, Angela Bethel Hodgkinson, her husband Lloyd of Trinidad and the entire Bethel and Hodgkinson family of Barbados, the entire Cuddy Clan, all of Pearl’s people, Bill and Martha Milligan and family and Tim and Owanna Victory of Marshville, N.C. as well as countless other treasured family and friends that he met throughout his life.

An outdoor Celebration of Life will be held September 20, 2020 at Saffores Family Farm in Marshville. Please call 704-996-9500 or email for address and details.

“Life should not be a journey to the grave with the intention of arriving safely in a pretty and well preserved body, but rather to skid in broadside in a cloud of smoke, thoroughly used up, totally worn out, and loudly proclaiming “Wow! What a Ride!” (Hunter S. Thompson, The Proud Highway: Saga of a Desperate Southern Gentleman, 1955-1967)

“Tributes to honor Skip’s memory may be made to the Pancreatic Cancer Action Network, either online at (and please check the box indicating it is a memorial gift), or may be sent to: PanCAN, 1500 Rosecrans Avenue, Suite 200, Manhattan Beach, CA 90266; please note that the gift is in memory of Skip Saffores.”


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