Batavia - Marvin J. Skelton, husband of Berniece Rudolph Skelton, passed away on June 23, 2015. He had recently celebrated his 96th birthday and his 74th wedding anniversary.
He was born April 16, 1919 in the town of Batavia, to Norman and Celia Eick Skelton, both deceased. Two brothers, Roger (Ruth) and John (Dorothy), also predeceased him. Mr. Skelton graduated from Batavia High School, class of 1937.
A lover of the land, he was a youthful member of the 4H, where he won prizes for his potatoes, poultry, and other products. Eventually, he became a successful and progressive farmer. He had dairy cattle for many years, but later turned solely to crops, farming beans, peas and corn. He lived on his farm on the Buckley Road in Stafford for almost seventy years, in the house where his wife was born.
Mr. Skelton was a long-time active member of the Farm Bureau and served on the Board of Directors for over 25 years. He and his wife enjoyed many trips with the Farm Bureau to places near and far, including Spain, Africa, Hawaii, Texas, Arizona and Chicago. He was also a member of the Kitchen Konference, Old Boys & Gal’s Club and the Stafford United Methodist Church. Mr. Skelton served on the Board of Appeals in Stafford for a number of years and the board of the Stafford Rural Cemetery.
In his younger years, he regularly went deer hunting in the Adirondack Mountains. He also earned his private pilot’s license and love to fly small airplanes. He and his wife enjoyed dancing as well and did so often with several different groups in their winter home in Englewood, Florida. They travelled often – besides the Farm Bureau trips, they visited Branson, Missouri and Orlando, Florida, many times, often taking family members with them. In his later years, Mr. Skelton became an avid (and pretty good) golfer. He played his last game of golf at the age of 95!
He and his wife, Berniece, had no children of their own but loved and cared for many children of family and friends over several generations, including but not limited to the Bentleys, the Brantons, the Halls, the Scotts, the Besetts, the Fullers, the Blythes and the Swansons. He was especially attached to his other-abled nephew David and bragged about him to everyone who would listen. He and Mrs. Skelton also supported children through the original Children’s Home of Batavia and Gateway.
Mr. Skelton is lovingly remembered as a man who always had a good joke to share and who loved to talk to people. He was an astute business man, who persevered despite setbacks. He volunteered many hours of work to Habitat for Humanity in Florida, and helped family and friends who were in need, without expectations. A plaque give to him by his (deceased) sister-in-law, who he loved as a sister, summed him up:
It’s easy to be pleasant,
While life goes by with a song
But the man worthwhile is the man who can smile
When everything all goes wrong.
Mr. Skelton was that kind of man.
He is survived by his wife, Berniece of Batavia; nephews, Thomas (Mary) Skelton of Batavia, Earl Skelton of Stowe, Pennsylvania, David Miner of Batavia; nieces, Kathryn (Joseph) Fry of Jacksonville, Florida, Susan (Geoffrey) Briggs of Stafford, Rita (Dennis) Brayley of Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, Jan Miner of Hartsdale, Carol (Paul) Beechler of Manassas, Virginia. In addition, he had several grand and great-grand nieces, nephews, cousins and godchildren.
Friends may call on Friday from 4 to 8 p.m. at the H.E. Turner & Co. Funeral Home, 403 East Main Street, Batavia, where services will be held at 10 a.m. Saturday. Memorials may be made to Genesee County ARC, 64 Walnut Street, Batavia, New York 14020, HomeCare & Hospice, 29 Liberty Street, Suite #6, Batavia, New York 14020 or to Stafford United Methodist Church, 6134 Main Street, Stafford, New York 14143. He will be laid to rest in Stafford Rural Cemetery. Please leave a condolence, share a story or light a candle at www.bataviafuneralhomes.com.