Raymond Francis Skillen
October 20, 1943 - March 26, 2022
It is with profound sadness that we announce the sudden passing of Raymond Francis Skillen, 78, affectionately known as “Skilly” on March 26, 2022 at Lake of the Woods District Hospital with his devoted wife Sharon, and family by his side.
Ray was born on October 20, 1943 in Fort William, Ontario, the 2nd of 5 children born to Joseph & Margaret Skillen. He treasured his relationship with his brothers and sisters and they remained close throughout his life with regular phone calls and visits.
Ray attended Ontario Police College in Aylmer, Ontario after high school and worked as a Constable with the Ontario Provincial Police for 11 years. He was posted to Port Arthur, Geraldton and finally Kenora, where his position as an OPP Marine Constable solidified his love of Lake of the Woods and he never looked back! He later changed careers and joined the forestry industry with Boise Cascade before settling in at the Kenora District Jail as a Correctional Officer where he retired after 22 years.
Ray had a real love of hockey and took great pride in telling his kids that if it weren’t for them, he would have made the NHL as a top “Goal Minder” and of course…they believed him. Why wouldn’t they? He also lost a toe in Vietnam! (Not true, but one of Dad’s famous tales). He was a long-time Habs fan before pledging his loyalty to the Jets when they made their way back to Winnipeg. Ray loved watching his grandkids play hockey and offered $5 for every goal scored until they started “breaking the bank” which made him reduce it to a toonie/goal instead.
In 1982, Ray rented a houseboat to celebrate his honeymoon with the love of his life, Sharon, family and friends. It was apparent Ray & Sharon did not want that celebration to end when they purchased the same one two months later, naming it House Boat Rannie after his youngest daughter, Rae Anne. After 7 years of countless adventures on Houseboat Rannie, their desire for solid ground became a reality with the purchase of their log camp on Scotty’s Island which he enjoyed with family and friends for 30 years.
He loved to fish with his kids but God forbid one of the catch bottom cuz I’m sure a loud “EVERYBODY REEL UP” echoed across the lake!!! He also loved to pull his kids and Grandkids behind the boat on water towables for the least amount of time possible because his main goal was to wipe them out and laugh his head off! He thoroughly enjoyed competing in Red Neck Golf tournaments with the family at camp as well. He was our Patriarch who made us proud of our Irish roots and family always came first to him.
Skilly was always so full of life and never passed up adventures at home and away. He had a very close relationship with his Lake of the Woods crew (you know who you are), he was one of the boys! Ray and Sharon went on many trips and met many friends in Mexico and Lake Havasu as well. Ray’s memory will live on forever through the memories and stories shared by those who knew and loved him.
Ray was predeceased by his parents Margaret and Joseph Skillen, and his son Joseph Raymond Skillen.
He is survived by his loving wife, Sharon, of 46 years, his beloved children, Kathy, Kelly (Rob), and Rae Anne (Brad); best papa in the world to Bobbi (Ben), Ashley (Mac), Mandy, Jessica (Cory), Alicia (Justin), Samantha, Erick, Christina (Bradley), Julia (Brad), and Nicholas, and his many great-grandchildren, Payton, Carter, Ryder, Paisley, Ayden, Jackson, Molly, Quinn and Maggie; siblings, Michael (Peggy), Judy (Jim), Joanne, and Martin. Also surviving him are his sister- and brother-in law, Brian and Bonnie Campbell, Rick and Georgie Erickson and several nieces and nephews.
The family would like to extend their heartfelt gratitude to the paramedics who responded, the emergency staff at the Lake of the Woods District Hospital, Dr. Wong for his professionalism, Dr. Beveridge for his years of care and comradery, and Dr. Brad Kyle.
A Memorial Service will be held on Sunday, August 7th, 2022 at 2:00 pm at Notre Dame Roman Catholic Church. Luncheon will follow in the Sunset Room-Days Inn.
Flowers are graciously declined however a donation of one’s choice can be made memory of Ray.
Fond memories and expressions of sympathy may be shared at www.brownfuneralhomekenora.com for the Skillen family.