Remembering John E. Skillman III (1939-2014)

It is with sympathy we announce the passing of John Earle Skillman III, the Skillman Family Association’s President.

As the Association’s first President, John pursued his vision of creating a Skillman family presence on the internet as a means of enhancing dissemination of the family’s substantive history. With that goal in mind, he worked diligently over the last two years providing the leadership to create the formalized Association structure and technology development to enhance its communication network for the future. His intent was to continue the great early-twentieth-century work of the Reverend William Jones Skillman, one of our great family forefathers. Now, just over a century later, our group has succeeded in realizing the first stage of John’s vision.

In one year, John managed to develop the Association’s formalized structure. He completed the development of its’ by-laws, and with the assistance of his son, Ken, they designed and crafted the Association’s first web site. John’s family was further represented by his daughter, Lee Ann, who graciously agreed to be the Association’s first Secretary. John was particularly proud of his success in achieving recognition by the IRS of the Association’s 501(c)(3) non-profit status; an accomplishment that was two years in the making.

John’s ability to look beyond some of the complicated issues in setting up an association and stick to the course at hand was one of his best character traits; his vision, intelligence and writing skills along with his keen interest in our family history are some of the wonderful attributes that I will surely miss. John also had a sense of humor during our communications which demonstrated his resilience to those around him. His humor and social networking abilities easily engaged the individuals he came in contact with. John’s many outstanding accomplishments are listed in detail in his obituary.

In recent months, one of the items John and I discussed was my willingness to take over as the President of the Skillman Family Association when the time arrived. I have agreed to do so and hope that you will be patient during this time of transition.

Our thoughts and prayers go out to Ellie, his wife, and their children: Ken, Lee and Paige during this difficult time.


Michael J. Wrona
Interim President

A. Dix Skillman

A. Dix Skillman • Age: 96 • Belle Mead, NJ

A. Dix SkillmanA. Dix Skillman, Belle Mead attorney, passed away on Saturday, Dec. 22, 2012, at the Foothill Acres Nursing Center in Hillsborough. He was 96.

His family will hold a Memorial Service in the Blawenburg Reformed Church, 424 Route 518, Blawenburg (Skillman) on Saturday, January 19, 2013 at 11 am. Visitation will precede service beginning at 10am at the Church.

Born in Skillman, NJ, on September 27, 1916, to Elva Stryker and Frederic T. Skillman, Dix graduated from Rutgers University in 1937 and the University of Pennsylvania Law School in 1940. After he passed his NJ Law Bar exam, he enlisted in the US Coast Guard in 1942 and completed his service in 1946 with the rank of Lieutenant, Senior Grade. Following his service to our country he moved to Belle Mead and was employed by the State of NJ in the new Corporation Tax Division. He transitioned from there to begin his own law practice. While he was practicing law at his office in Belle Mead, he was appointed legal counsel for Montgomery Township for 16 years and was counsel for the Montgomery Board of Education for over 39 years. He was also counsel for Branchburg Township for 8 years. In 1957 Dix was appointed Director of Inheritance Tax for Somerset County until he retired from the position in 1986. He was a Charter Member and the first President of the Rotary Club of Belle Mead and recipient of two Paul Harris Fellowships. Dix was a member and president of Montgomery Fire Company #1 and Charter Member, incorporator and life member of Montgomery Fire Company #2. He was a Charter Member and President of the Van Harlingen Historical Society of Montgomery Township and a member of the Sons of the Revolution, Princeton Chapter. He also belonged to the Franklin Township Historical Society, the Griggstown Historical Society and the New Jersey Historical Society. He was a member of Solomon’s Lodge in Somerville, the Crescent Shrine in Trenton, the American Bar Association and the Bar Associations of New Jersey, Somerset County, Franklin Township and Princeton.

Dix leaves behind Virginia, his beloved wife of nearly 70 years; daughter, Abigail; son, Peter, daughter-in-law, Barbara and three grandchildren, Sara, Katie and Christopher, as well as his sister-in-law, Jean Skillman. He was predeceased by two sisters, Rebecca Baird and Mary Van Cleef, and two brothers, Thomas and Harold.

In lieu of flowers, memorial donations may be made in Dix’s memory to the Rotary Club of Hillsborough (formerly the Rotary Club of Belle Mead) Foundation for the Scholarship Fund, PO Box 5644, Hillsborough, NJ 08844.

Published in the Courier News on January 11, 2013.

Webmaster’s note: A. Dix Skillman was the 1st cousin, once removed, of the Skillman Family Association’s Genealogist.