Rollin Thomas “Tom” Skinner Sr. passed from this life to the next Monday, March 27, 2017, after almost 81 years of bemusement and impishness.
Tom was born April 29, 1936, in Loveland, Colorado, to Rollin Clifton Skinner and Eileen Robbins Skinner. Tom had only one older sibling, Charles Oscar Skinner. Most of his youth was lived in Baker City, Oregon. He would wake up early and work the ranch with his father, who passed in 1971. He spoke about his time working on the ranch as formative years that he’d often look back on with fondness and gratitude.
Tom attended local Baker schools, often arriving on horseback or at least with a horse in tow. After attending a year at Oregon State University he joined the Army and served for two years in Germany as an Army Mechanic. Upon his honorable discharge, he built the “B” Street apartment building (that still stands) with his father, in Corvallis.
Taking a liking to construction, he chose it as a profession and dedicated many years to the craft. He was a proud worker and took great pains to do a job that was above expectation. His counsel was “No matter what you do, do it to the best of your ability and rebuild, rethink, modify, accept criticism, make whatever it is the best you can make it. Your pride of work should be your motivation to improve and do better. Your work is for you and is your reward, so don’t short change yourself with shoddy workmanship.”
Tom married the love of his life, Carolyn Cooley Skinner, February 23, 1968. He loved and served Carolyn the rest of his life. Anyone who spent time with Tom would know where his heart was and seeing them together was a blessing and nearly always great comedy.
Tom found great pleasure in upsetting the standard. If he loved anything almost as much as his wife it was a goof, a gag, or a trick, all lighthearted, and never at anyone’s expense. He lived to find the humor, joy and laughter in life.
Tom had a tax business for many years and touched many lives with his jovial service. When Tom and Carolyn moved from Corvallis, Oregon, to Lewisville, Idaho, in 1994, many new opportunities for serving presented themselves. He was very active in his local Latter-day Saint Church, and participated in many capacities in the Lewisville City Government. He always taught his children that complaining and blaming others never solved problems. He felt it was our responsibility was to serve and make a positive difference in the world.
Tom also enjoyed hunting, fishing, and any chance to be in nature. He loved animals and believed that pets teach us to be compassionate and loving. His belief that Heavenly Father made the earth and left beauty everywhere prompted him to say, “Recycle, reuse, and waste nothing. Always strive to make the world a better place. The Land Lord will remember the example you have set and will reward you handsomely.”
He was our rock, our anchor, our strength. He was fearless in that nothing was so important that he would take it too seriously. If you were ever distressed he could reset your perspective and bring you to a smile and a recognition that whatever it was, it was probably going to work out ‘ok’ and you should just do your best. He taught us to be kind, generous, and to assist whenever and wherever we could. He counselled us repeatedly to be stingy and frugal with ourselves and generous and available with everyone else.
Tom is survived by his wife and three children, Deborah Mitchell, Chuck Skinner, Rollin Skinner Jr., 11 grandchildren and 8 great-grandchildren.
In lieu of flowers, please consider taking time to read to a child, observe the beauty of the wilderness, or make someone laugh. Donations would also be appreciated to Primary Children’s Hospital, 100 N. Mario Capecchi Dr, Salt Lake City, UT 84113, or online at http://intermountainhealthcare.org/hospitals/primarychildrens/donations/..., or St. Jude’s Hospital at www.stjude.org.
A memorial was held at the Lewisville LDS Church from 12:00 Noon to 3:00 p.m. Saturday, April 15th 2017.
As a family we are compiling shared stories or thoughts about Tom. We would love to hear from everyone who knew him. Please share: no story or thought is inconsequential. PLEASE email them to email@example.com.
If in the future, you happen to see a highway marker that reads, “RIP Tom Skinner, Now There is Room for a New Smart-Alec,” feel free to chuckle. I darn sure know he will be.
We will miss him deeply and are anxious to see what heavenly pranks he has in store for us. Condolences may be sent to the family online at www.woodfuneralhome.com.