Skinner, Don

Donald Lawrence Skinner, 88, died Sunday, July 5, 2020 peacefully at home.
Don was predeceased by his mother Martha Ernestine Skinner (Poirier); father Murray Clifford Skinner; his two brothers Alfred and Gerald Skinner; and his wife Nola Joyce Skinner (Kyle) in 1996.
He leaves behind his beloved partner for the past 22 years, Gloria Beck; his sons Murray Skinner (Laurel Beach) and Jeffrey Skinner; and daughters Lori Rantala (Randy) and Kim Skinner (Laura Lee Billing). Don was blessed with five grandchildren, Kyle and Kaitlin Skinner (Ross Piaskoski), Barry Arklie, Alyssa and Jai Rantala, and two great-grandchildren, Mila and Roman Piaskoski. He also leaves behind many nieces and nephews and in-laws. All that knew him would agree that he was the nicest, kindest, and friendliest man you would ever meet.
Born April 19, 1932 in Grand Prairie, Alberta, Don lived in the west through The Great Depression before his family moved to Fort William, Ontario.
Don was lucky to have enjoyed retirement longer than he worked. He started with CNCP as a telegrapher in Sioux Lookout before a quick stint in Winnipeg before he was stationed in Fort Frances where he raised his family in what he and our Mom would say were the Golden Years. Later he was transferred to Thunder Bay, Ontario and returned to Fort Frances shortly after retiring at the age of 51.
Don was a sports enthusiast. He enjoyed swimming at Pither’s Point with his children, tossing a ball and skating with his grandchildren. He loved to watch his own kids compete in diving, gymnastics and hockey. Later in life he found new passions in golf and curling and up until this past winter, curled in a league at St. James Curling Club.
Don had a lifelong appetite for good and happy times. As a young man he went by the nickname DonikerQ often asking “the Q stands for pool – want to play?” He enjoyed fishing on Rainy Lake with his good friends, hearing and telling a good joke, playing the mouth organ and listening to his son Jeff play the guitar. Rest In Peace now Dad – Grampa Don – FaFa, and keep cheering us on from the stands in Heaven.
In light of Covid-19, there will be no ceremony at this time. We hope to have a Celebration of Life in the coming year.
A book of condolences can be signed at
In Lieu of Flowers the Skinner family suggests a donation to Diabetes Canada