It is with great sadness and heavy hearts that the family of Willard Skibsted announce his passing at the age of 83. Willard passed away peacefully at Dream Acres with Doris, his soul-mate and wife of 64 years by his side, and his family.
He was a loving father of five children, Mardy (Janet) Skibsted, Kim Skibsted, Tammy (Darryl) Roppel, Shane (Sandy) Skibsted and Michele Skibsted (Rick Strobridge); An exceptional grandfather, affectionately called Pop, to 7 grandchildren, Candace Roppel-Bader (Byron Bader), Brant Skibsted (Jayme Hall), Jayden Skibsted (Steph Plante), Bruce (Jenna) Skibsted, Daylyn (Stu) Kolynchuk, Kennedy and Sydney Stewart; and 6 great-grandchildren, Theoren and Harrison Bader, Sage and Cila Skibsted and Kane and Kinsley Kolynchuk. Willard is also survived by his sister Norma (John) Hausberg of Calgary and many cousins, nieces and nephews.
He was predeceased by his parents Carl and Gladys; his brothers Donald, Robert, Eric, Vernon; sisters Grayce and Shirley; grandchildren Jeanine and Jordan Roppel.
Willard was born in Drumheller on October 24, 1935 and lived in Calgary until 1951. He was 16 years old when he broke his leg and had to move out of the City to the farm at Cheadle, so he could take the school bus to Strathmore to finish high school. It was at Samuel Crowther where he met the love of his life Doris Welshimer who he married on August 6, 1954. They still live on the homestead and have a second farm at Halkirk.
Willard was a man of principle and believed a deal was sealed with a simple handshake. He was very competitive and passed this down to his children and grandchildren. He enjoyed hunting, fishing, snowmobiling, ping pong, cribbage, crocano, horseshoes, pool and shuffleboard. He loved puzzles and took great delight in challenging his family and friends with these mind games.
In June of last year he attended a Pig Roast hosted by the Cheadle Lions Club and was honored as one of only two chartered members remaining, for 55 years of service. His close friend and neighbor John Keer was the other member. Willard was a proud leader of the Cheadle 4-H Beef Club and was a strong advocate for Public Speaking.
Willard and Doris enjoyed travelling and were big hockey fans. They held season tickets to the Calgary Flames for 30 years, with John and Carol Keer, beginning with the first game ever played in the new Saddledome.
Dad was very appreciative of Mom’s good cooking and extremely thankful for her loving care and support. He kept his sense of humor and was grateful for the time he had, to enjoy visits with family and friends. His greatest love was his family. He was so proud of all of us and made sure we all knew how special we were. He was very much adored by all his children, grandchildren, and great-grandchildren, and will be deeply missed.
We want to express our gratitude for the support provided by Dr. Senzani and the caring staff at Strathmore Home Care. We also want to express our sincere appreciation to Nola for volunteering her time and for her generosity and kindness. Dad looked forward to your visits and enjoyed the crib matches.
We will be forever grateful to Sharon and Dennis for their compassionate loving care and keeping Dad so comfortable throughout his journey. Dad enjoyed Bill’s companionship and Eileen’s kindness. Dream Acres was truly a warm and wonderful home full of love.
A Celebration in honor of Willard will take place on Friday, June 28, 2019 at Hope Community Covenant Church (245 Brent Blvd. Strathmore) at 1:00 p.m.
In lieu of flowers the family asks you to consider making a donation to the Wheatland & Area Hospice Society (403-934-8199, P.O. Box 2154, Strathmore, Alberta T1P 1K2, www.wheatlandhospice.ca)