John Earle Skillman III • Age: 74 • Tampa, FL
John E. Skillman III, 74, of Tampa and Copper Hill, Virginia, passed away at home with his family at his side on Tuesday, June 10, 2014 after a long and courageous battle with prostate cancer. He was the son of Mr. & Mrs. John E. Skillman, Jr. of Upper Montclair, NJ, and the grandson of Dr. & Mrs. John E. Skillman of Montclair, NJ, and Mr. & Mrs. J. Starr Webber of Salem, VA. He is survived by his loving wife of 52 years, Eleanor, and three children, Kenneth Robert Skillman and wife Srimalie of Lutz, FL; Lee Ann Fleming and husband Scott of Tampa, FL and Frisco, CO; and Paige Elizabeth Briscoe and husband Ray of Huntersville, NC. He is also survived by four granddaughters, Casey Lee Fleming, Bailey Ann Fleming, Olivia Sumindee Skillman, and Natalie Seyansa Skillman, numerous cousins, and Abby, the best dog ever.
John was raised in Upper Montclair, NJ, and in 1961 he married the former Eleanor M. Conn of Montclair. They relocated their family to Tampa in 1972 and built a second home in the Blue Ridge Mountains of Virginia in 2002. John was graduated in 1961 from the United States Military Academy at West Point, NY, and was commissioned a 2nd Lieutenant in the U.S. Army. He graduated from the Artillery Officers Basic Course at Ft. Sill, OK, and earned his parachute wings at Ft. Benning, GA. He achieved the rank of 1 st Lieutenant with the 24th Infantry Division Artillery in Munich, Germany, and the rank of Captain with the New Jersey Army National Guard in Morristown, NJ.
Following his active military service, John spent forty years in the securities and investment business, serving as a Vice President with Reynolds Securities, PaineWebber, SunTrust Bank of Tampa Bay, and J&W Seligman. In 2002, he joined Flippin, Bruce & Porter, an investment management firm in Lynchburg, VA, where he was responsible for marketing in eight southeastern states, Texas, and Puerto Rico. He retired from Flippin, Bruce & Porter in July 2007. In 2000 he earned the designation Certified Investment Management Analyst (CIMA) after completing a program sponsored by the Investment Management Consultants Association and the Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania.
In 1967, John began what became a life-long interest in genealogy, and he had more than 20,000 names of relatives and their families in his database. He was a seventh great-grandson of Thomas Skillman, who came to this country from England in 1664. Based on his third great-grandfather, Jacob Skillman, who served in the New Jersey Militia, John joined the Tampa Chapter, Sons of the American Revolution, in 2004 and served as president in 2012 and 2013. He was a dual member of the Fincastle Resolutions Chapter, Sons of the American Revolution, in Roanoke, VA where he proudly served in the Color Guard. John was also a member of the National Huguenot Society and The Order of the Founders and Patriots of America.
In 2012 he founded the Skillman Family Association, Inc. as a forum for the research, collection, and preservation of materials regarding the history and genealogy of the Skillman Family in North America. John was very pleased to have two published articles on genealogy; one in The New York Genealogical and Biographical Record and one in The New York Researcher.
John was active in the Mendham Area (NJ) Jaycees from 1966 to 1972 where he served as president during the 1969-1970 year. From 1996 to 2004, he served as a Local Board Member of the Selective Service System in Tampa. He was a former member of The Tampa Club and a member of Palma Ceia Presbyterian Church. He was a Freemason and a member of Taylor Lodge No. 23 AF &AM in Salem, VA, with a dual membership in Hillsborough Lodge No. 25 F &AM in Tampa.
The family would like to thank the doctors and staff at Moffitt Cancer Center for the excellent medical care they provided John over the past three years, and also all of the LifePath Hospice nurses for the comfort and support they gave John and the family during his final days. A Memorial Service was held on Monday, June 23rd at ll a.m. at Palma Ceia Presbyterian Church, 3501 W San Jose St, Tampa, FL followed by a reception in the Fellowship Hall. Interment with a Masonic Graveside Service took place immediately following at Myrtle Hill Cemetery.
At John’s request, in lieu of flowers, donations may be made at any time in his name to the Skillman Family Asociation Scholarship Fund or by mailing a check to: Skillman Family Association, Inc. c/o Gregory E. Skillman, Treasurer, 43 Cambridge Lane, Lincolnshire IL 60069-3104 to be used for the establishment of a scholarship program. All donations are tax deductible.