REV. DR. H. WILBUR SKEELS
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Passed away on October 19 in Thousand Oaks, surrounded by his wife of 49 years, Delia, and his three sons, Andrew, Mark and David.
Born May 25, 1938, in Dunedin, New Zealand. Came to US in 1960 as a Fulbright Scholar. Met his wife Dee at Asbury Seminary in Wilmore, KY; they married June 23rd, 1962, and he finished his Master of Divinity coursework at Fuller Theological Seminary. They then returned NZ, where Wilbur was ordained and pastored 1st Baptist Church (Raumati). In 1967, they returned to CA, where he pastored 1st Baptist Church of 29 Palms. He received Doctor of Ministry degree from American Baptist Seminary of the West in 1972. He later pastored American Baptist Churches in Thousand Oaks, Camarillo, and Ojai. Spent 25 years with Los Robles Master Chorale as accompanist, asst director, resident composer. Founded Cantus Quercus Press, through which he composed and published more than 50 original choral works. Published and translated many works from foreign languages and from composers worldwide. Founded Hospice of the Conejo. Helped establish first homeless shelter in Ojai. Retired in 2004 after 40 years of parish ministry.
Survived by wife, Dee; three sons and their significant others (and their children): Andy and Julie, Mark and Jennifer (Hannah, Rhett, Macy), and David and Megan (Mack and Scarlett). Also survived by his sisters and brother (and their spouses): Daphne (Andrew) Hornblow, Allison (Craig) Sunderland, Gilmore (Elizabeth) Skeels, Rosemary (Gordon) Mock.
Funeral service: 11:00 a.m., Saturday, October 29, 2011, at Westminster Pres. in Westlake; Graveside service: 2:00 p.m. at Bardsdale Cemetery in Fillmore. More info and complete obituary at www.simivalleymortuary.com.
Published in Los Angeles Daily News on Oct. 28, 2011