With sad and heavy hearts, we say goodbye to our beloved father, Thomas Arthur Skinner, age 94, born January 14, 1928 who passed away on May 23, 2022. He left this world reluctantly but peacefully, on his terms, with family by his side at Spruce Lodge, Stratford, Ontario. He is reunited with his loving wife, Vivian (Coulthard) who predeceased him in 2003, whom he married May 31, 1952. Loving father of Mary (Robert) Arnett from Ilderton ON, Donna (Doug) Johnson from Dundas ON, Eleanor (Bill) Eicher from Mannheim ON, Janet (Ian) Shackleton from Alabama, and Harvey (Mary) Skinner from St. Pauls ON. He deeply loved his grandchildren and was proud of their accomplishments and he will be forever missed by Julie Lamb and Jeffrey Lamb, Jordan (Kayleigh) Johnson, Justin Johnson, Bradley Eicher (Elise), Kristen (Tom) Collison, Daniel (Emily) Shackleton, Thomas, Timothy and Amanda Shackleton, Adam, Aaron and Ethan Skinner and great grandchildren Gemma Collison and Isaac Johnson. Predeceased by his son Thomas Gerald Skinner 1972, his parents, Harvey and Beatrice (Mahon) Skinner, in-laws Robert and Mary (Porter) Coulthard, sister Jean and brother-in-law Elson Lynn. Tom will be dearly missed by his brother-in-law Bruce and Marjorie Coulthard as well as many nieces and nephews.
Tom was born in Owen Sound, grew up on a farm at Shallow Lake, attended Owen Sound Collegiate and Vocational Institute. He worked for Bell Canada until moving to Downie Township to farm with his father, worked at the Stratford CNR shops and later farmed with Vivian and their children. He met Vivian at Junior Farmers and the rest was history. As well as farming, Tom opened Avon Electric Wholesale with his business partner, Jim Scott (2020), in Stratford, late 1960’s, traveling and selling electrical supplies to electricians and contractors from Stratford, Mitchell, Clinton, Seaforth, Goderich, Grand Bend and St. Marys and later selling the business to Ideal Supply in 1982. His family was everything to him, celebrating every special occasion, enjoying holiday meals, birthdays, card games and watching his children and grandchildren grow and play. He taught us the value of family as well as a respect for hard work. Mom and Dad had the good fortune to spend 51 precious years together traveling, dancing and playing cards. They were always eager for adventure, regular trips to Owen Sound, Sauble Beach and Grand Bend, and enjoyed trips to England, Australia and Switzerland, Caribbean cruises as well as trips across Canada and throughout the United States. They treasured their neighbours and friends from St. Pauls and later Ballantyne Ave, Stratford where they also operated a B&B. With a love of the land and outdoors, Dad continued to help out on the farm after moving to Stratford and was driving the tractor into his late 80’s. He wasn’t one to sit still, raked leaves and had the snow blower out for the driveway and shoveled the walkway until age 89. Tom was an active member of Avonton Presbyterian Church, 50 year member of St. Marys Lions Club, trustee for #7 Downie and Downie Central schools and traveled to assist with the Manitoba flood relief. He made an impact on so many lives. His kind heart and outgoing nature will be missed by all those who had the pleasure to know him. Tom appreciated everything life had to offer and was known for his generosity and concern for others and would use fun and humour to brighten someone’s day. He could fix anything from farm machinery to home renovations. Among all his accomplishments throughout life, his family remained his proudest achievement and greatest priority.
We would like to extend our heartfelt gratitude to the staff and residents of Spruce Lodge North. Your love, care and compassion will never be forgotten. We are grateful for the loving care provided by Barb Orchard PSW to enable Dad to remain in his home before moving to Spruce Lodge.
In keeping with Tom’s wishes, cremation has taken place. A private family interment will be held at St. Marys Cemetery. Relatives and friends are invited to celebrate Tom’s life on Saturday, June 4, 2022 at Arden Park Hotel 1:30pm-4:00pm.
In lieu of flowers and if desired memorial donations may be made to Spruce Lodge North (blanket warmer), ALS London Branch or a charity of your choice through the W.G. Young Funeral Home 430 Huron Street, Stratford 519-271-7411 www.wgyoungfuneralhome.com
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Stratford, Ontario N5A 5T7
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