SKEES, Hugh

SKEES, Hugh Benedict Age 93, passed away on October 9, 2020, in Dayton, Ohio, a place he called home for over fifty years. Born in his family farmhouse in Elizabethtown, Kentucky, on September 6, 1927, Hugh is preceded in death by parents William Robert and |Elizabeth Gatton Skees and grandson Jonah. Hugh is survived by his wife Jasmine Panchot Skees, seven children and partners as well as fifteen grandchildren: Sylvia (Gary), Sandy (Mary), Ron (Shelly), Eddy (Nelson), Suzanne (Vincent), Sally (Michael), and Tony (Kris). Grandchildren: Matthew, Daniel, Elisabeth, Christina, Ali, Brienne, Tori, Tessa, Benjamin, Isaac, Michaela, Sarah, Griffin, Bridget, and Connor. Hugh lived a full and, by his own words, blessed life. As a child on their 107-acre farm, he helped in the tobacco, corn, soybean and hay fields and learned the gardening skills that helped augment a growing family's table in the years ahead. Schooling included public elementary and high schools. He was the only one of eleven children to attend college, attending St. Louis University part-time and working full-time to achieve an |undergraduate degree in organic chemistry in just five years. It was during his final year as an undergraduate that he met the love of his life, Jasmine. Following a courtship that included a drafted two-year Army stint as a medic in post-war Germany, he married his sweetheart. They settled in St. Louis where he started his career as a research chemist. As they started to grow their family, he also completed a Master's of Science degree in organic chemistry. Hugh moved his family to Dayton to take a job as a technical director for The Standard Register Company, a place he worked for over 30 years until his retirement in 1995. He holds over 27 patents in a multitude of areas including printing, films and coatings, and insulation. He was always tinkering in his workshop repairing appliances, helping keep family cars running, making beautiful wood furniture, and dreaming up other inventions to patent. He never did patent his smelly but always-effective "cleaner" that could take any stain out of any article of clothing. For all his smarts, Hugh's greatest attribute was his belief that giving back to the community is a responsibility and privilege. He served on the school board and was a regular lector and usher during the years he was a parishioner at Precious Blood Church and the children attended the elementary school. He organized a community garden for residents in Westbrook Village, helping local families learn how to grow and can vegetables. He was a 50-Gallon blood donor for the American Red Cross, helped build many houses for Habitat for Humanity, and was an early supporter of the Dayton Peace Museum. Hugh and Jasmine traveled to visit their children and grandchildren, who live all over the country, and spent many summers in beach settings for family reunions that would bring everyone together for one week every two years. He also pursued a lifetime interest in faith, spirituality, history, and innovation that took him to museums and sites in places like Egypt and Spain. Hugh was loved and respected as a husband, father, grandfather, patent expert, gardener, peace advocate and faithful man. May he rest in peace. Due to the complexities of the current pandemic affecting travel and gatherings, a memorial service will be held at a later date. In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to Habitat for Humanity of Greater Dayton in Hugh's name.

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