October 14, 1927- January 16, 2013 OKLAHOMA CITY Geneva P. Skinner of Oklahoma City was welcomed home by her loving Savior on Wednesday, January 16, 2013, after a final battle with pneumonia. Gene approached life with passion, tenacity, and perseverance. Whether volunteering to be a little league coordinator, driving a station wagon full of kids to baseball games, helping a young intern become a lawyer, or simply cutting the lawn on "Gene's mean green mowing machine," she met life head on with zest and enthusiasm. Born and raised in Guthrie, she began a career as a legal secretary that would span 50 years, taking a sabbatical to raise son Michael. Married to Leon for over 50 years, her greatest joys were that first Christmas as a Skinner, giving presents to a much larger family, helping brother-in-law Don through college and nephew Nub in his early career, scrimping to put a son through college, welcoming daughter-in-law Susan to the family and being a grandmother that loved to be on the floor playing with grandkids John and Cynthia. Loyalty was important and allegiances were not easily changed. But love was stronger. A lifelong OU fan until the time Michael went to OSU, she quickly formed a bond with "all things Cowboy" and an outlook that her two favorite teams were "OSU and whoever was playing OU." Overcoming a battle with lung cancer in 1996 that left her with one lung, she refused oxygen assistance. Walking a treadmill six nights a week, she surpassed a personal goal of seeing her grandchildren graduate college. Her wit led to interesting sessions with medical techs as they searched for a lung that just wasn't there. "I'd just look a little harder" was the typical comment that often led to shock, surprise and a heartfelt laugh. She was preceded in death by husband Leon, parents Riley Sr. and Gladys Smith, brothers Riley Jr. (Junior) and William (Buddy) Smith, who knew her as "Sister." Gene is survived by son Mike Skinner and wife Susan of Oklahoma City as well as her grandchildren, John Skinner of Tulsa and Cynthia Skinner of Oklahoma City. The family wishes to convey special thanks to the compassionate, caring staff of Hospice of Oklahoma County. Heartfelt gratitude and appreciation can never be repaid for the friendship and companionship of neighbors Frank and Ed, whose loving support allowed Gene to live in her house built in 1957 until God called "Sis" home. In lieu of flowers, the family requests donations be sent to Hospice of Oklahoma County. A graveside service will be 2 p.m., Saturday, January 19, 2013, at Memorial Park Cemetery.
Published in The Oklahoman on January 18, 2013