Patricia C. (Sturm) Skillen

Feb. 26, 1928 — April 17, 2017

Patricia C. (Sturm) Skillen, of Hartford City,  (formerly of Spring Hill, Florida, and Leesburg) passed away at the Trails of Orono Assisted Living Facility in Orono, Minnesota, on April 17.

Patricia was born on Feb. 26, 1928, in Jasper, to the late Victor and Clara (Rumbach) Sturm. Patricia graduated from Jasper High School in 1946. Following high school, she left a year later with $50 and two dresses for Indianapolis to attend St. Vincent’s Hospital School of Nursing. She was a student council representative and earned her bachelor’s degree in nursing in 1950. 

After graduation, she worked for Western Electric in Indianapolis as an industrial nurse where she met her husband, John D. Skillen. They were married July 17, 1954, in Jasper. They moved to Dayton, Ohio, for John’s work where they had their first son, Jeffrey, in 1957. They moved to Hartford City for John’s work at Sheller-Globe Corporation where they had their daughter, Ann, in 1960. In 1961, they had their second son, Steven. 

After a distinguished career, John and Patricia transferred to Keokuk, Iowa, for another promotion in 1981. Upon John’s retirement in 1989, they retired to Tippecanoe Lake in Leesburg where they enjoyed many fine years with friends and family on the lake. In 2000, they moved to Spring Hill to reside at the Timber Pines golfing community. John passed away in 2013 after a brief illness, and Patricia stayed in Florida with Ann until she moved to Orono where she remained in Steve’s care at the Trails of Orono.

Patricia was an excellent lifelong golfer, playing in the weekly women’s golf league at the Blackford Country Club in Hartford City — competing and winning in invitational golf tournaments in the regional area. She was also a member of the Keokuk Country Club league. Pat achieved her first hole-in-one when she was 72 years old while playing in the weekly league at Timber Pines in Spring Hill. Patricia and John were avid bridge players — belonging to a couples’ bridge club — likewise she was a member of a women’s bridge club. The couple were active supporters of charitable and church organizations. Patricia was an active member in Psi Iota Xi Sorority in Hartford City. She became a real estate agent in 1976 and worked as a realtor in Hartford City and in Keokuk.

Patricia was the consummate homemaker; she was an accomplished seamstress making many of her own clothes as well as her daughter’s clothes. She was an excellent cook and baker known for her outstanding homemade pies. She had an artistic side to her and painted watercolors, sketched women’s profiles, landscapes and Ann’s dog, Cody. She had a knack for interior decorating and beautifully decorated each of their homes, also making some drapery for her home and Ann’s home. Most of all she was a beloved wife and cherished mom who brought her sense of humor and love to our home and lives. She spent long nights helping with homework. One project in particular was helping Ann to write a poem. It was called “The Cat” which won a school prize and became a published work. Each Christmas she worked tirelessly baking and decorating endless amounts of beautifully decorated Christmas cookies and pies. Her holiday table settings were a work of art. She will be lovingly remembered and missed by all.

Survivors include her sons: Jeffrey Charles Skillen and Steven Victor Skillen; daughter Ann Clare [Tom] Lockwich; and grandchildren: Natalie Skillen and Blake Skillen.

She was preceded in death by her parents, husband; sisters: Marianne Fritch and Ruth Suttmiller; and brother George Sturm.

Visitation will be held on Saturday, May 20, 8:30-10:30 a.m. at Frain Mortuary, 305 E. Main St., Winamac, followed by memorial Mass at 11 a.m. at St. Peter’s Catholic Church, 402 N. Market St., Winamac, with Rev. Leroy Kinnaman officiating. Burial will take place following services at the Winamac Cemetery in Winamac. 

Memorial contributions may be given to Wounded Warrior Project or to Hospice Care for Veterans directed to the Henry B. Melrose Veterans Honor Fund.

Online condolences may be offered in the guestbook at

(Pulaski County Journal — May 17, 2017)

Pulaski County Journal

114 W. Main Street
Winamac, IN 46996

Office Number: (574) 946-6628
Fax Number: (574) 946-7471

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