Harry "Skip" Hem (left)  was honored in 2013 for his service to AWFS. Pictured with Hem is AWFS President Wade Gregory (right).
Harry "Skip" Hem (left) was honored in 2013 for his service to AWFS. Pictured with Hem is AWFS President Wade Gregory (right).

ANAHEIM - Past president and longtime AWFS volunteer Harry "Skip" Hem passed away on Nov. 13 following a long battle with cancer. He was 71.

Hem was initially elected to the AWFS (Association of Woodworking & Furnishings Suppliers®) Board of Directors in 1989. He was reelected to the board in 1996 and later served in a variety of leadership roles, including chairing the Public Policy, Member Services, College of Woodworking Knowledge and Trade Show committees. He was also the AWFS secretary/treasurer, vice president and president, as well as immediate past president of the association.

His nearly four decades of experience in the wood products industry included 18 years at Cal Shops Furniture Manufacturing, and later jobs at Goldenberg Plywood and Lumber (US Wood Products) and Royal Plywood, where he held the position of vice president of the Composite Panel Division.

Survivors include his wife of 47 years, Cindy, daughter Lori Ettinger, son Michael, and grandchildren Emma Ettinger, Grace Ettinger, Gavin Hem and Maddison Hem.

“Skip will always be remembered as a truly dedicated and caring person that also became one of the most valuable and respected volunteers in the Association’s 104 year history," said AWFS® President Wade Gregory, ARAUCO North America, "He had such a positive impact on so many people in our industry and is the main reason I became a volunteer at AWFS. The AWFS Board and staff will always be grateful to Skip for all his contributions to our industry thanks to his leadership and volunteer efforts throughout the years.”

A memorial service will be held on Dec. 2. In lieu of flowers, the family requests donations be made in Hem's memory to the American Cancer Society at www.cancer.org. 

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