John Skiles

Baker City, 1941-2021

John Carroll Skiles, 79, of Toledo, Oregon, died on Jan. 4, 2021.

A memorial service and scrapple party will occur at a later date.

John was born on May 25, 1941, at Pottstown, Pennsylvania, the eldest son of Elmer and Lillian (Detweiler) Skiles. John married Barbara Becker on March 16, 1962. He and Barbara Skiles (Becker) built an incredible life over their 59 years together. Their claim to fame was to have had a child in every decade, starting in the ’50s and ending in the ’80s.

They built a career in various agricultural entities including owner/operator of a dairy in Brownsmead, Oregon, a cattle ranch in Durkee, and a water well drilling business in Redmond. Dad also enjoyed nearly a decade of agricultural consulting in underdeveloped countries throughout the world, his family said. One of his many highlights was the years he spent in Saudi Arabia as a crops specialist for one of the largest dairies in the world.

Dad and Mom eventually retired and built a working farm in Toledo, where they enjoyed their golden years farming and caring for numerous herds of sheep and cattle. Dad loved his home and could often be found driving his farming equipment in pursuit of the betterment of the farm. His final years included daily trips in his “covered wagon” ensuring all sheep and cattle were healthy and accounted for and checking on “Mr. Big,” his bull elk he watched grow over many years. Mr. Big was so accustomed to his presence, they formed a sort of bond.

Dad’s biggest joys were found in family and friend gatherings. He took on the role of “Grand PooPaw” hosting numerous scrapple gatherings and attending yearly Mastodon parties at Christmas. His smile, deep laugh, and firm handshake would capture the hearts of any who met him. He had a way of connecting to people and they loved him for it. He always had grandiose ideas that to a normal person would seem unattainable, but for him, were just problems needing solved. No matter where he went, he found friends, both old and new.

Over his 79 years of hunting and fishing adventures, a lifetime of memories were made with those who shared his passions. Dad was funny, clever, kind, warm-hearted and extremely outgoing. He has left a positive impression and profound impact on the lives of young and old. We are proud of the life that Dad and Mom built, his children said. He will be missed immensely.

John is loved and missed by his wife, Barbara; his children, John, Dolly (Victorine), Doug and Jackie (Wierup); his brothers, Brent, Dale, Jerry and Bill Skiles, and his sister Sharon (Rogers). He was blessed with 15 grandchildren and three great-grandchildren.

He was preceded in death by his parents; his daughter, Audrey; and “Mr. Big.”

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