Charles Leo Skellenger
1932 - 2013
Family and friends are mourning the loss of Charles Leo Skellenger, 80,
who passed away Saturday, May 25 following a lengthy illness. He was
surrounded by the love of his family, and they know he had beaten the
medical odds for so long in order to spend one more day with the
adoring love of his life, Nancy, who cared for him every minute.
Chuck was born on September 19, 1932, in Clear Lake, Iowa to Howard
and Flossie Skellenger. At age 17, he entered the United States Air Force
and honorably served his beloved America for “twenty years, one month
and thirteen days,” as he would clearly state. He had a wealth of
experiences, from serving as a Flight Engineer during the Korean War
(including once for Commander Jimmy Stewart) to being involved in the
Minuteman Program at Vandenberg Air Base in Lompoc and Malmstrom
Air Force Base in Great Falls, Montana. Chuck served with integrity and
He earned an AA at Alan Hancock College in 1965, while raising a
young family of four with his former wife, Janet Skellenger. After he left
the military, he worked in the insurance industry for a time and then
spent many years as a top salesman for Ace Hydraulic.
Chuck’s career in the military was evident in his life: He could glance at
a military plane in the sky and identify it on sight; he was disciplined
and orderly; and he kept his Air Force haircut throughout his life! He
traveled extensively, during his military service as well as for leisure,
and had visited every U.S. state and many different countries. He and
Nancy loved to travel in their motor home and enjoyed many successful
fishing trips. With his talent for woodworking, Chuck left a lasting
legacy of love for his family. Almost entirely self-taught, he created topquality
useful and decorative wood items that beautifully reflect his
precise eye and high standard of craftsmanship. Oak hope chests, wine
hutches, quilt racks, clocks and handcrafted jewelry boxes are among the
treasures Chuck’s family will cherish for their lifetimes and pass along
to their own children and grandchildren.
In addition to being an avid hunter and longtime member of the National
Rifle Association, Chuck was a member of the Fraternal Order of Eagles,
Veteran of Foreign Wars and American Legion Post 26. He led a
complete and fulfilled life, and leaves his loved ones with the knowledge
that he viewed his life with pride and happiness, and no regrets.
He is greatly missed by his beloved wife, Nancy Skellenger, and their
six children: Terry and Mike Butler of Livermore; Debbie and Mike
Brown of Friendswood, Texas; Cindy and Lonnie Latham of Tehachapi;
Scott and Lisa Skellenger of Bakersfield; and Charles Leo Skellenger Jr.
of Tehachapi. Chuck was preceded in death by a son, Daren Westphal,
and four brothers. He leaves behind 14 grandchildren and 21 greatgrandchildren
who are amazingly blessed to have been a part of his life.
The Skellenger Family would like to express their heartfelt thanks to Dr.
Robert Laughlin, Dr. Tommy Lee and the Hoffman Hospice Staff.
Committal is scheduled for 10:45 a.m., Tuesday, June 4, at the
Bakersfield National Cemetery with full Military Honors.