John Skelton

In Memoriam

We mourn the loss of our friends, neighbors and relatives who have passed. Our memories of life at the Lake are entertwined with our memories of those who shared their lives with us here.

John R. Skelton, Jr.

30 September 1930 – 7 December 2020

It is with deep sadness that we report the passing of John Skelton. John’s family is considered one of the pioneer families at Yankee Lake, purchasing property from Whitman in 1894, and camping in tents until a cottage was completed in 1906. John was a lifelong member of the Yankee Lake community. He was instrumental in the purchase of the Big Island and arranging that it be kept “forever wild,” as well as the purchase of the land under the lake and the dam itself.

John’s passion for the lake and our community was demonstrated in his leadership role, joining with other members of our community, in the formation of the Yankee Lake Preservation Association. John was a past President of the Yankee Lake Alliance, and co-President of the Yankee Lake Preservation Association when it was first formed.

John will be remembered not just for his contributions, but because he was a true gentleman. He was always kind and caring, and he solved issues with his special way of taking the high road. He never got angry with anyone. He was respected by all.

His formal obituary, shown below, may be found at the website for VanInwegen’s Funeral Home.

John Skelton

John Ruxin Skelton Jr. of Wurtsboro passed away on 7 December 2020 at the Garnet Health Medical Center in Middletown. He was 90.

The son of the late John R. Skelton Sr. and Ethel M. Queen Skelton, he was born 15 September 1930 in Middletown.

As a young man, he joined the Boy Scouts and attained the highest level, Eagle Scout. John was a Captain in the United States Air Force.  A Korean War veteran, he was stationed on the island of Kumishima and was a navigator on a B-47 jet. After coming home, he was stationed in Topeka, Kansas where he met his future wife, Patricia. They had four children and eight grandchildren which were his greatest joy in life.

John worked for the Western Union Telegraph Company his entire career.  His job took him around the country, starting in Seattle, and continuing through Los Angeles, San Francisco, Portland, Tulsa, Boston, Washington DC, and New York. When John retired, he and Pat moved to his favorite place, Yankee Lake. They spent many years there, enjoying the lake, friends, and family.

Survivors include two sons: Matthew Skelton (Róisín O’Sullivan) and John Skelton (Heidi); two daughters: Julie Audi (Robert) and Susie Skelton; and eight grandchildren: Alex, Kristin, Matthew, Josette, Sierra, Cheyenne, Maeve and Niamh. He was predeceased by his wife of 65 years: Patricia M. Johnson Skelton; and a sister: Barbara Kertis.

Due to the current health crisis, the visitation will be for immediate family only. We will have a separate event to honor John’s life in the spring. Please send a message to and we will send you information on the event.

Memorial contributions can be made to the Wounded Warrior Project

Arrangements are under the direction of the VanInwegen-Kenny, Inc. Funeral Home of Wurtsboro. For additional information or to send an online condolence, please visit Kenny Funeral Home.

Final Resting Place: Hillside Cemetery, Mulberry Street, Middletown, New York., Middletown, New York.

© 2021 Yankee Lake Preservation Association, Inc.
PO Box 558 • Wurtsboro • New York • 12790-0558
Call: (845) 888-0474 or Email: ObscureMyEmail

© 2021 Yankee Lake
Preservation Association, Inc.
Post Office Box 558
Wurtsboro, NY 12790
Call: (845) 888-0474
Email: ObscureMyEmail

The Yankee Lake web site does not collect or use any personal information.