SKEES, Jasmine Panchot
Age 86, died on March 17, 2021, in Dayton, Ohio, at Bethany Village, just five months after the passing of her husband of sixty-four years, Hugh Benedict Skees.
Jasmine was born September 12, 1934, in Butler, Pennsylvania, the tenth of thirteen
children in a close-knit, devout Catholic family. When she was just five months old the family moved to Okmulgee, Oklahoma. During her Junior and Senior year, she served as organist at St. Anthony's Catholic Church, graduated valedictorian of her high school class, then took art classes at the community college. Moving to St. Louis, Jasmine worked as a secretary in the math department at St. Louis University, where a cute boy from Kentucky noticed her pretty blue eyes and asked about tutoring. Hugh wanted to date Jasmine but, lacking any pocket money, resorted to walking her home from Sunday Mass. Drafted into the army, Hugh left to serve in Germany, and their courtship developed through love letters the next two years. They married within two months of his return, on July 31, 1956, at St. Anthony's Parish in Okmulgee, Oklahoma.
Jasmine was a loving and dedicated wife and mother, raising seven children with much help and involvement from Hugh. Jasmine was full of joy, optimism, and energy as a wife, mother, sister, and friend. Jasmine and Hugh both valued being
involved in their children and grandchildren's lives and spent a lot of time traveling from California to Kentucky, South
Carolina to New York, for holidays and visits. They also
created many vacation memories, hosting family reunions
biannually at two places she dearly loved: historic Williamsburg, Virginia, and the soft beaches of the Central East Coast. Jasmine joined her daughters for a "girls'" trip to France, and she and her sisters did tours of the Holy Land and Europe. She and Hugh traveled to Hawaii, Spain, Italy, and Egypt. Her last big trip was a cruise along the Alaskan coastline, a dream come true for Jasmine that she shared with three generations. Retirement proved a carefree, happy time for Jasmine and Hugh. Their home had a guest bedroom where she sewed clothing for Appalachian children in poverty, a sunroom where she sat in centering prayer every morning, and a basement workshop where Hugh built and carved woodwork for their children. They hosted many holidays, baptisms, summer visits, and neighbor parties from their downstairs "rec room" and patio that overlooked a well-tended lawn and the woods beyond. A lifelong pianist, Jasmine continued to fill her home with classical and popular pieces, practicing nearly every day. Her calendar filled with lunch dates with dozens of close friends, she was known far and wide as a chocoholic, an
evangelistic vegetarian, and a relentless hugger. All her life, Jasmine shared her love with the world beyond her family. Volunteering at church from the time the children were little, Jasmine later expanded her service to praying with surgery patients at local hospitals, visiting hospice patients to give caregivers a break, and crocheting hundreds of prayer shawls for family and friends in crisis as well as women in domestic abuse shelters (see Mercy Manor, below), and women whose sons were injured or killed in gang violence (see PBMR,
below). Jasmine also served as Vice President of Giving for the Skees Family Foundation from 2008-2018. She took great pride in leading their "local" giving in the Midwest that
balanced the family's global mission to end poverty.
Passionate about equality for all, Jasmine created "heart connections" with grant partners and clients. She had an innate respect and compassion for all humans that shone in both her personal relationships and her philanthropic work. When they needed more care, Jasmine and Hugh moved into assisted living, where they spent the final eight years of their life.
Jasmine never slowed down until the last few months: She did daily laps in the hallways and held court with her cellphone each evening, reaching out to family and friends in Dayton and far beyond. She was preceded in death by her parents, L.D. and Katherine Schaefer Panchot; her husband of sixty-four years, Hugh Benedict Skees (October 9, 2020, at age 93); and her grandson Jonah Skees Hinman (April 19, 2017, age 21). She is survived by her seven children, their partners and eighteen grandchildren: Sylvia (Gary, Matthew and Daniel), Sandy (Mary and Elisabeth, Mike, and Christina), Ron (Shelly and Alex Landon, Brienne James, Tori, Mike, and Tessa), Eddy
(Nelson), Suzanne (Vincent and Isaac, Alexis, Makayla, and Aiden), Sally (Mike and Michaela and Sarah), and Tony (Kris and Bridget, Griffin, and Connor). A dual memorial service for both Jasmine (1934-2021) and her beloved Hugh (1927-2020) will take place at Tobias Funeral Home at 5471 Far Hills Avenue in Dayton, Ohio, on Saturday, August 21, 2021, at 12:00 pm with a gathering from 11:00 am until the time of service. In lieu of flowers, those who wish to commemorate Jasmine are requested to make a donation in her name to one of two nonprofits very dear to her heart: Precious Blood Ministry of Reconciliation, which serves low-income youth vulnerable to gang violence and unemployment in Chicago, or Mercy
Manor, which serves homeless women and children impacted by addiction and/or abuse.