Homer Ray Skelton completed his earthly journey on September 02, 2021. He was 94 years old. Ray, his preferred name, was born October 15, 1926 to Homer B and Edith Mae (Hoadley) Skelton at his maternal Grandparent’s homestead about 1 mile from Huston, Idaho. His parents were farmers, living in the Maple Grove Community near Caldwell, Idaho. Subsequently, his family moved North of Notus, Idaho. At age 6, he attended the Notus Grade School for the first half of the first grade. The family then moved to his paternal Grandfather’s homestead SW of Caldwell, Idaho, where he spent his youth. He graduated from Caldwell High School in May 1944.
The following two years, he sought an appointment to the United States Naval Academy (USNA). While awaiting the appointment, he was draft exempt and attended the College of Idaho.
Ray, finally, obtained a Congressional appointment to USNA, and he was sworn-in on July 12, 1946, joining the Class of 1950. Having been reared in a well-disciplined home and having two years of college before entering USNA, Navy discipline was easy and the academics were less of a challenge. He especially enjoyed the USNA summer cruises at sea to Europe and experiencing different cultures. He graduated 2 June 1950 and was commissioned an Ensign in the US Navy.
While on graduation leave, the Korean War commenced and he reported aboard the USS Collett (DD730) at the bomb-line, off the east Korean coast, 19 July 1950. After two tours to the Far-East, he was assigned to Officers Electronics Material School, Treasure Island, CA, for 16 weeks under instruction. Upon completion, he reported aboard the USS Bremerton (CA130) as the Electronics Officer. He married Lois Jean Grigson, November 1952 in Los Angeles, CA and they produced four wonderful children.
He resigned his regular commission, accepted a commission in the Reserve and was released from active duty 15 September 1954. Ray remained in the Naval Reserve until 1972, attaining the rank of Lieutenant Commander.
He spent the ‘55 –‘56 years helping his father on the Idaho farm.
In 1957, he obtained employment with Lockheed Aircraft. That career spanned 28 years as an Electrical Design Engineer and Engineering Supervisor of Electrical Design Engineers on various aircraft projects. About the last half if his career was privileged to work in the Lockheed “Skunk Works”. Intermixed with his career, he obtained his private pilot’s license and flew light aircraft for 10 years. Ray retired in 1985 and returned to his beloved Idaho, residing on 3.85 acre portion of his Grandfather Skelton’s 1907 homestead.
In 1988, he was bitten by the “genealogy bug”. As a result, he co-authored and self-published a book on the Skelton Family History in 1990. He wrote his autobiography in 1998. He authored a book on his mother’s family history in 2007. He also, enjoyed fishing for kokane, in the local reservoirs. Managing his acreage, traveling and Church activities, occupied the remainder of his retirement. He and Lois were members of the Church of Christ. Ray felt very blessed for life having given him good health, wonderful opportunities and a variety of experiences, considering his humble background as a farm kid with average intelligence. He firmly believed that he had lived the “American Dream”. His greatest treasure was his Skelton, Hoadley and Church families!
His ashes are to be buried in the Skelton Family Plot, Canyon Hill Cemetery, Caldwell, Idaho, amongst his beloved relatives. He was preceded in death by his parents, two sisters, Margaret Evans, and Mary Free, and one great grandson, Nile Arrington, and is survived by his faithful wife of 68 years, Lois, one brother, Carl (Lorraine) Skelton of Santa Clarita. CA, four children: Linda (Randy) Meals, Timothy Skelton, Jeanise Arrington, and Roy Skelton, eight grandchildren: Ryan (Ashley) Arrington, Thomas Meals, Tina Skelton (Don Dominguez), Lauren (Cody) Townsend, David (Lindsey) Meals, Kyle (Teresa) Arrington, Shelby (Nick) Griffin and Taylor (Bre-Anna) Arrington; and seven great grandchildren: Justice Pelow, Evie Arrington, Luna Arrington, Reed Townsend, Sophie Griffin, Everett Meals, Honor Dominguez, many lovely, beautiful and talented nephews, nieces and cousins and a host of cherished friends.
In lieu of a service, we invite family and friends to gather in
our home on Oct. 15, 2021 (when Homer would have turned 95) between 4 and 6:30 pm to share memories.
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