Nelson Walter Skidgel, Jr., known as Jr. by his friends and family, was born September 21, 1927 in Tulsa County to Nelson Walter Skidgel and Ida (Shamel) Skidgel. He passed from this life on Monday, October 1, 2018 in Pawnee, Oklahoma having reached the age of 91 years old.
Born during the depression, Jr learned at a very young age to work hard every day and he instilled that same work ethic in his children, grandchildren, and great-grandchildren. When Jr. was 6 years old his parents moved to a farm south of Pawnee where he would remain for 85 years. He attended Star A Star Country School, south of Pawnee, through the 8th grade. His mother passed away when he was 13 years old and he entered the workforce to help support the family. He was drafted into the military where he was honorably discharged before marrying the love of his life, Lois. Jr. married Lois Lorene Garner on May 18, 1946 in Winfield, Kansas, and they made their home on the family farm south of Pawnee. He would always tell Lois, “I’ll make the living if you make life worth living.” They were given alfalfa seed as a wedding gift and it is still being grown on the family farm to this day, over 72 years later. They had two sons Darrell Wayne and Jerry Lynn.
Before his arrival at Southern Oaks Care Center, Jr. could still be found south of Pawnee on a tractor, in the swather laying down hay, or in a pickup truck checking pastures of cattle. People who knew him knew he was not afraid of work and there was no such thing as an afternoon nap or a day off. He could build anything with his hands. Jr. built his first tractor in 1948 using a Ford Model T truck, and also took a John Deere riding lawn mower and put an air-conditioned cab on it. Every trailer that hauled hay or cattle was built in the shop on the farm. He always felt great satisfaction in building things rather than buying them and he was known for loving the color red when it came to his machinery. He took pride in farming “the right way” and was a board member on the Pawnee County Soil Conservation District for 40 years.
Jr. was preceded in death by his parents Nelson Walter and Ida Skidgel, wife Lois Skidgel, and granddaughter Kaelynn Skidgel. He is survived by his 2 sons, Darrell W. Skidgel and his wife, Janice; Jerry L. Skidgel and his wife, Jan, all of Pawnee. He is also survived by 8 grandchildren, 25 great-grandchildren, and 2 great, great-grandchildren, a number of other relatives, and many friends. Services will be held at 10:00 a.m., Thursday, October, 4, 2018 at the Pawnee First Baptist Church in Pawnee, Oklahoma. Interment will be held at Highland Cemetery, Pawnee, Oklahoma.