Dr. Ray Skinner, 86, of Athens passed away at Riverside Hospital in Columbus on Sunday, July 15, 2012. He was born on April 21, 1926 in Junction City, Ohio, the son of Ray Skinner, Sr. and Naomi T. Edgerly Skinner.
Ray grew up around Reynoldsburg and Dumontville and graduated from Carroll High School in 1944. During his senior year, he enlisted in the Air Force and served in the Army Air Corps during WW II.
Using the G.I. Bill, Ray earned his B.S. and M.A. degrees from Ohio State University. He taught Math, Biology, and Earth Science at the high school level in northern Ohio as well as coaching basketball for fifteen years. Then he earned his Ph.D. from Kent State University.
Ray was a Professor Emeritus in the College of Education at Ohio University. He taught at OU for 30 years and during his first year, he submitted a proposal that was funded by the U.S. Department of Education to start the Upward Bound Program. It was successful and is still operating today. He directed many other programs through the years such as OU Governor’s Scholars for Talented and Gifted Students, The National Science Foundation Summer Institutes for Earth Science Teachers, and The Ohio Junior Science and Humanities Symposium.
Dr. Skinner received many distinguished service awards for his professional career as well as his service to the community from The College of Education, The Ohio Association for Gifted Children, The National University Continuing Education Association, The OSU Stadium Scholarship Dormitory Alumni Association, The OU Alumni and Friends, The Emeriti Association, The Hock-Hocking District Boy Scouts of America, The Southeastern Regional Council Chamber of Commerce, and The Kiwanis Club. He is included in a number of Halls of Fame.
Ray was very active in the community and held many offices through the years for the following organizations: The Athens County Historical Society and Museum, The Kiwanis Club, The Emeriti Association, The Ohio Council of Higher Education Retirees, The Civil War Round Table of Athens County, and The Tuesday Club. He was also a Board member of the United Seniors of Athens County and the Founder of the Serendipitous Seniors Golf League. He wrote many newsletters for a number of organizations.
Ray is survived by his loving family: his wife, Marilyn Lamont Skinner; two daughters, Sarah Jane and Suzanne Skinner of Florida; and a step son, Sam DiLiberto, and his wife, Bunny, of The Plains.
His friends have referred to Ray as Dr. Serendipity, his favorite word, and described him as a man of many creative ideas, great energy, and a love of adventure and travel. He will be greatly missed by his family and will continue to be an inspiration for us to live life to its fullest, to provide service to others, and to let fortune guide our affairs.
A memorial service will be held at the Ohio University Walter Hall Rotunda on Sunday, September 16th, at 2:00 p.m. In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions may be made to the Upward Bound Program, c/o Ohio University College of Education, McCracken Hall, Suite 124, Athens, Ohio 45701. Arrangements are with Jagers & Sons Funeral Home, Athens. Please share a memory, a note of condolence or sign the online register book at www.jagersfuneralhome.com.