North Yarmouth - James Andrew Skillings 76, of North Yarmouth, ME and Tallahassee, FL died at his Maine home on May 7, 2013. He was surrounded by his loving family as he passed from this life to the next. He was born on November 7, 1936 in Brooklyn, NY, the son of Donald and Rita Skillings. He was educated in the Portland and Cape Elizabeth schools, and he graduated from Cape Elizabeth High School, Class of 1955. He attended Norwich University, was a brother in the Lambda Chi Alpha Fraternity and graduated with a degree in Government in 1959. Jim married Julie Angela Watts of Barre, VT in June 1959, "The first day I met her I knew I would marry her". Jim and Julie were blessed with four children.
Jim had a distinguished military career. In 1963 he was stationed in Illesheim, Germany. In June 1965, Jim returned to Fort Benning, GA to attend the Infantry Career Course. On June 30, 1966 Jim reported to the 1st Infantry Division, Republic of Vietnam and was assigned to the 4th Cavalry 1st Squadron, "The Quarterhorse". After a meritorious tour in Vietnam, during which he was awarded 4 Bronze Stars, including one for valor in combat, and a Purple Heart, he was honorably discharged from the Army in 1967.
Following Jim's discharge from the Army, the Skillings family moved back to Maine so he could take over the family business, Yankee Distributors. In 1980 Jim merged the family business with Cumberland and York Distributors, and he continued as Vice President and General Manager until he and Julie moved to Florida in 1993. They moved to Naples and then to Bonita Springs, where Jim was highly involved in the Highland Woods Golf Community. He also got his real estate license and worked for US Homes during that time. In 2005, Jim and Julie retired, traveled the country in an RV, and moved back to Maine.
Jim was actively involved in many different community organizations, including Casco Bay Youth Hockey, the Maine Beer and Wine Wholesaler's Association and was a goal judge for the Maine Mariners. One of his proudest achievements was helping to bring the Vietnam Veterans Memorial Photo Replica, affectionately known as "The Traveling Wall", to Portland in 1989. Jim enjoyed spending time on his boat in Casco Bay, golfing at Highland Woods, and playing cards and games with family and friends. He was a voracious reader of biographies and a history buff.
He lovingly cared for Julie during her terminal battle with cancer. On August 23, 2010 he married Judith Elaine Davis, and they lived together in Tallahassee and North Yarmouth. While in Tallahassee they were very active in St. Peter's Anglican Church. Jim became an avid fan and season ticket holder for the FSU football and basketball teams.
Jim is survived by his wife Judith of Tallahassee; his daughter Jodi Coffee and her husband Tim of Windham; his daughter Judi Hawkes and her husband Richard of Cumberland; his son James Skillings and his wife Gina of North Yarmouth; his son Donald Skillings and his wife Kathleen of Skowhegan; his grandchildren Natasha Balzano and her husband DJ, Joshua, Matthew, Christina, Richard, Olivia, Elizabeth, Jessica, Cameron, Matthew and his wife Cait; his great-grandson Tyler; his stepsons Donald Stacy and his wife Denise and Duncan Stacy and his wife Cynthia; his step-granddaughter Amelie; his sisters Susie Laughton and her husband Norm of Scarborough, ME, and Donna Kessler and her husband Warren of Manchester, ME and many nieces and nephews.
Visiting hours will be on Tuesday May 14th from 4:30 to 7:30 PM at Lindquist Funeral Home, One Mayberry Lane, Yarmouth. A Mass of Christian Burial will be celebrated on Thursday May 16th at 1 PM at Wilde Chapel in Evergreen Cemetery, 672 Stevens Avenue, Portland. Burial will immediately follow the service.
Please visit www.lindquistfuneralhome.com
to view a video collage of Jim's life and to share condolences, memories and tributes with his family.
In lieu of flowers for those who wish, donations in Jim's memory may be made to: Maine Children's Cancer Program, 100 US Route 1, Unit 107, Scarborough, ME 04074 and/or Hospice of Southern Maine, 180 US Route 1, Scarborough ME 04074.