William Owen Skelton

Posted by Natalie Handy

Community News Editor

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STOWE – William Owen Skelton died peacefully on July 29, 2013, surrounded by friends and family in his home in Stowe Village. He is survived by Mary; their son Greg, daughter Allyson Nadeau and her husband Chris, and son Andrew and his wife Zoe. He is also survived by his three siblings: Les Levering, Jeffery Skelton, and Betty Gilbert, and three grandchildren, Kyle Nadeau, Moxie and Lella Skelton.

Will was born in Englewood, New Jersey, to Ferman George Skelton and Adeline McDonald Skelton on Aug. 21, 1947. In 1956, his family moved to Stowe, where they built and operated the Foothills Ski Lodge. After graduating from Stowe Preparatory School in 1966, he attended Montana State University, Bozeman. In Oct. 1967, he enlisted in the U.S. Army where he served in the elite Army Security Agency. He deployed worldwide in support strategic national objectives and was decorated for his service. In 1969, Will married Mary Ann Curtis, and in the following years, together they had three children.

For many years they resided in Burlington and St. Albans before returning to Stowe. Will was a natural entrepreneur who enjoyed various diverse and successful careers. Still in his early 20’s, he was the service manager at Shearer Chevrolet, a partner in Boots n’ Boards Ski Shop, and owner of Skelton’s Army Navy Store. He later was owner/operator of a logging and transportation business, travel industry executive, commercial maple syrup producer, insurance executive, and most recently Certified Retirement Plan Specialist. He was elected to and served as both Police Commissioner and Aldermen for the City of Burlington, where he served as the board’s President.

He was an active outdoorsman, world traveler, ski racer, sailor, hunter, trapper, snowmobiler, motorcyclist, remodeler, gardener, landscaper, craftsman, rifleman, and gunsmith. In early 2010, Will’s life was upended when he was diagnosed with ALS, also known as Lou Gehrig’s Disease. Always the pragmatist, immediately after his diagnosis, he created then systematically worked through his “bucket list.” His list included, rigorous moose hunting expeditions in Alaska, trips with his children, and relaxing winters in Texas. ALS is a horrible disease wherein the mind stays sharp while the body becomes progressively weaker to the point of systemic failure. Throughout his fight with the disease, Will kept a positive attitude and as active a schedule as the disease would allow.

He fought the battle with inspirational grace, dignity, and resolution. He participated in a grueling three-month experimental diet trial in hopes that his effort would help other victims of the disease.

There will be no visiting hours held. A graveside service with inurnment will be held on Thursday Aug. 1, 2013 at 11 a.m. in the family lot in Riverbank Cemetery, Stowe. A. W. Rich Funeral Home and the family invite you to share your memories and condolences by visiting www.awrfh.com. In lieu of flowers the family requests that donations be made to the ALS association at http://goo.gl/T8VJE0