It was a day of bittersweet joy on Tuesday morning, April 13, 2021, as Nolan Wendell Skinner joined his wife and son in what can only be imagined as a grand celebration for the patriarch of the Skinner family’s return home.
Nolan Wendell Skinner was born in Grass Valley, California, on August 16, 1941, to Wendell and Ada Skinner, mere minutes before his twin sister, Nadine. Nolan’s father worked at the gold mine, which closed soon after the twins were born. So, the family packed up their belongings and babies, and set off for Utah. Nolan grew up in Utah, where his siblings Janice and Brad were later born, and where he attended Orem High School and graduated in 1959. Immediately after, Nolan served in the U.S. Army from 1959 to 1962 where he took an 18-week auto-repair course, a skill he would use through much of his life. Soon after his return from his military service, Nolan and Colette were engaged. Nolan and Colette were married on May 25, 1963, and later sealed in the Provo temple on their anniversary in 1988. Together they had four children, Kathy (Mark Robbins), Wendy (Richard Fullmer), Michael (Courtney), and Michele (Bradley Nelson). For Nolan and Colette, raising their family meant that they both worked very hard, both in and out of their home. Nolan worked for Geneva Steel until 1982, before going into business himself, doing auto body and repair from his shop in west Orem until he retired in the early 2000s.
Through much of this time Nolan had many projects and occupations, such as his many church callings, caring for his garden and yard, and turning beautiful wood bowls. In fact, he always seemed to have an endless supply of wood for his turning and building projects courtesy of his best friend of nearly 70 years, John Wilkinson, a local tree trimmer. Nolan was so talented at wood-turning that he quickly ran out of space for all of his projects on more than one occasion. So, he rented a booth at the Provo farmers’ market to sell some of his work, and many locals went home with his beautiful creations. Out of all of his projects, most would agree that the Skinner family cabin was one of his favorites. Having purchased the property in 1974, Nolan spent large portions of every summer building and improving upon the cabin. He engineered creature comforts such as running water, electricity, television, and even a hot tub, all through his problem solving and ingenuity.
Nolan was a man of many talents that he happily shared with his many loved ones. In many ways, most of the hobbies and talents he cultivated during his life were for the service of others. He developed skills in building and carpentry to build a cabin for his family and to help his son build a home. He learned to repair most everything with a motor to help his friends and neighbors. He created beautiful bowls, plates, and cups, as gifts for his children and grandchildren to enjoy. In truth, there wasn’t very much Nolan kept for himself, having shared so much with others that he will never be gone from this world or the next.
Nolan spent the last days of his life at home, where he had his family with him through his final hours. His lessons of hard work and perseverance live on in his brother Brad, sisters Janice and Nadine, his daughters Kathy, Wendy, and Michele, daughter-in law Courtney, sons-in law Mark, Richard, and Brad, and many grandchildren and great-grandchildren who have all been blessed by the life he led and the lessons he taught.
The family wishes to express their deepest gratitude to Leland, David, and the rest of the Intermountain Hospice team for the incredible care and service they gave to our father and grandfather for nearly two years and the amazing support they were to us through this long journey. We also gratefully acknowledge and thank all of the loving ward members and dear friends who diligently checked on Dad and have rendered so many acts of kindness and service.
Funeral services will be held on Monday, April 19, 2021 at 11:00 am at Sundberg-Olpin Mortuary, 495 South State Street, Orem, with a viewing that morning from 9:30 - 10:30 am prior to the services. Interment will be in the Orem Cemetery.
For those unable to attend the services the live stream can be found HERE .
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