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SKEELS

With broken hearts the family of Delmer Skeels was left to say goodbye, upon his unexpected and sudden passing at home on Saturday, November 11, 2023, at the age of 86 years.   

 

Delmer was born in the Bentley General Hospital on June 30, 1937, to his parents Lester and Alda Skeels.   He was brought home to the farm where he resided for the next 86 years.  As a youngster, Delmer enjoyed life on the farm with his parents and siblings Louise, Gerald, and Thelma.  He always had a variety of animals to care for and nurture.  Delmer attended school to Grade 8 at the Monte Vista School, riding to and from class on horseback.  His education was complicated by health problems and hearing loss. 

 

As a young man – along with farming – Delmer did some carpentry work with his uncle Harold and Harold’s sons.  In addition, he broke numerous horses to ride, and milked a countless number of cows.  Delmer switched wells at the Rimbey Gas Plant for a while, and he loved dancing – privileged to be the best man at six weddings!  In 1963 Delmer married Joyce Holosko and they moved about 200 feet into their new home.  They continued to dairy farm with Lester and Alda until 1970; venturing into beef cows, transplant heifers, feed horses, as well as developing a fine herd of commercial Simmental-Limousin cross cattle.

 

Delmer enjoyed participating in amateur rodeo, and served on the Rimbey Rodeo Board for 20 years.  He also fulfilled roles with the Rimbey Agricultural Society and the Alberta Range Patrol program.  As a family they were actively involved with the Bluffton 4H Beef Club, with Delmer spending some time as both an assistant and as the club leader.  The Skeels Family was acknowledged with the Ponoka County Farm Family honour in 1987. 

 

As a young family, they enjoyed many memorable times with very good friends, the Riley family.  They also enjoyed more than 20 years of trail riding in the mountains with family and friends, particularly the Muller and Jaburek crews; and they are fondly remembered working cattle with special neighbours Bob and Donna Pecharsky.  Delmer even had a dandy fish pond built in the pasture to enjoy with his family – especially the grandkids! 

 

In 2007 Delmer semi-retired and sold most of the herd; blending the few remaining cattle with Dan’s herd, and he continued winter feeding right up until this year.  He has always enjoyed staying active on the farm.  Delmer and Joyce continued haying right into this year – in fact, he was hauling bales in October!  Well into his 80s, on Delmer’s bucket list was a bigger “manure spreader” – of which he finally got!  In June of this year, the Skeels family was recognized as a long-standing pioneer family of the Rimbey area at the annual Oldtimers Reunion. 

 

In later years, Delmer and Joyce were fortunate enough to take pleasure in many bus trips across Canada and the U.S.A.; creating many memories and friendships along the way.  Their recent favourite pastimes included eradicating gophers; and road trips out west looking for wild horses, which they did just four days prior to Delmer’s passing.

 

“He was a farmer,

hardworking – straightforward – social and caring…

Delmer will be missed, but his memory will live on.”

 

Delmer is survived by his loving wife and partner of 60 years, Joyce; his sons Stan (Vykki), Wes (Leslie), and Dan (Karen); as well as his grandchildren Mackenzie (Corey), Garren (Trinity), Kesler (Korah), Tyler, Jodi, Chelsea and her son Keaton, and Jessie.  He is also survived by his sister Louise Sanderson; his brother Gerald (May) Skeels; in addition to numerous additional family members; and many close and dear friends.  Special mention to Rick and Evelyn Sanderson for allowing Delmer and Joyce to use their children Crystal, Kim, and Tony as practice grandkids; and also to honorary grandson Gary Waldron.  Delmer was predeceased by his parents; his sister Thelma Galisky; along with many special aunts, uncles, other relatives, and good friends. 

 

With respect for Delmer’s wishes, an Informal Memorial Gathering will be held at the Peter Lougheed Community Centre, 5109 – 54 Avenue, Rimbey on Sunday, November 19, 2023, from 1:00 p.m. to 4:00 p.m.  If desired, memorial donations in Delmer’s memory may be made directly to STARS Air Ambulance, Box 570, 1441 Aviation Park NE, Calgary, Alberta  T2E 8M7 (www.stars.ca); or to the charity of one’s choice.  Thoughts and messages to the family may be shared through the condolence area located at the bottom of this page.

 

Service and Cremation Arrangements for the Late Delmer Skeels entrusted to the care of


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