Friends focus on life - not death - of Dallas man found in hoarding conditions

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by JASON WHITELY

Bio | Email | Follow: @jasonwhitely

WFAA

Posted on March 28, 2014 at 5:45 PM

DALLAS –- Men wearing protective masks used rakes to remove the debris inside Skip Bynum’s home. Friends said they had no idea he lived in hoarding conditions.

"I'm going to remember that picture. I'm going to remember him smiling, even though he was losing his teeth," said Patricia Martin, a long-time friend.

Search dogs, walking over piles of trash inside his home, found him dead inside.

"People have dignity in life. People contribute more than you realize. This man gave more than 35 years of his life as a communicator," Martin said. "And he deserves to be remembered for those things -- not how he died."

Bynum was a ham radio operator, a storm spotter, and loved to build models.

But he kept much more inside his home. Workers filled up their third large trash bin on Friday.

They also sat some things aside, including an old ham radio, toy models, and a family Bible, providing a glimpse of Skip Bynum’s personal life.

"He did wood working. He was very involved in trains. He went to train shows, collected trains. He was a devoted Baptist," Patricia said.

Friends and neighbors said Bynum lived here with his mother until she died several years ago. He wasn't married and had no siblings, so Dallas’ Code Compliance hired a contractor to clean it up.

"We started Wednesday and we're still currently doing it now. We need probably a couple more days to remove the debris," said James Martin, director of Dallas’ Code Compliance.

It's uncertain what happens to the few salvageable items removed from Bynum’s home in the M Streets.

After removing the debris over the next few days, James Martin said the city will check the structural integrity of the house and consider whether to demolish it.

Martin said the city has already alerted neighbors to be alert for rodents that might escape Bynum’s house.

Friends are holding a memorial for Skip Bynum at The Museum of Biblical Art at 7500 Park Lane in Dallas on Thursday, April 3 at 7:00 p.m.

Click here for more information about hoarding and how you can help those with a hoarding compulsion.

E-mail jwhitely@wfaa.com

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