OBITUARY: Darrell Ray Skinner

Darrell Ray Skinner

Jan. 12, 1937 – June 5, 2022

Darrell Ray Skinner, longtime Vale resident, passed away at age 85, on June 5 in Vancouver, Washington, at home surrounded by family.

Darrell (aka D.R.) was born in Cortez, Colorado, on Jan. 12, 1937, to J.V. and Helen Skinner. He joined older sister Linda and brother TV, while their younger brother, Donald, was born four years later.

At age 5, his family moved to Wilmington, California, so his parents could work in the shipyard during the war. They lived in California from 1942–1945, saving $8000 to buy a farm in Vale, Oregon.

Darrell attended elementary school at Willowcreek and high school in Vale, graduating in 1954 at age 17. He followed his sister Linda to Harding College in Searcy, Arkansas. In 1956, he convinced his sweetheart Ruth Skelton to join him at Harding.

Darrell and Ruth were married in Weiser, Idaho, on Dec. 28, 1957. After obtaining his bachelor’s degree in social science, they returned to Oregon. After graduation, Darrell taught school in Wallowa, followed by seventh and eighth grade at Willowcreek, also serving as principal for Willowcreek Elementary School.

During this time, Darrell attended graduate school at the College of Idaho before joining his father and brother TV to farm in Vale. They farmed together as the “Skinner Brothers” for six years.

In 1969, Darrell began his career at the Oregon Employment Department in Ontario as an employment counselor where he worked for 29 years, retiring in 1998. Though Darrell worked fulltime during the week in Ontario, his evenings and weekends were dedicated to working cattle and tending crops in Vale. Farming was in his blood, and he always considered Vale his home.

Darrell and Ruth were lifelong members of the Ontario Church of Christ, where Darrell served as an elder for many years. He supported interdenominational fellowship in the area and helped many people in need. This included finding jobs, higher education and even obtaining citizenship.

Darrell is survived by his wife, Ruth (Skelton) Skinner of 64 years, daughters Dana Louthan of Bellingham, Washington, Karen Ewing of Vancouver, Washington, Cynthia DeBord of Houston, Texas, along with a total of seven grandchildren: Rebecca, Carolyn, Marisa, Craig, Emily, Elliot and Evan. Grandsons Ronnie and Peter, predeceased him.

A memorial will be held at the Ontario Church of Christ, 202 Sears Drive, on Saturday, June 25, at 1 p.m.

In lieu of flowers, and in recognition of Darrell’s practice of helping those in need and being kind to the foreigner, the family suggests donations be made to Twelve3One Ministries, an organization active in assisting in Ukraine, both before, and now, during the war. Donations can be mailed to Twelve3One Ministries, 2221 June Drive, Nashville, Tennessee 37214. They can also made online at twelve3oneministries.org.