John “Skip” Skipwith, 93, died of natural causes Nov. 8, at Pondera Medical Center Extended Care.
A memorial is scheduled for Nov. 13, at 11 a.m. at St. Michael’s Catholic Church in Conrad, with a military burial to follow in Hillside Cemetery. Pondera Funeral Home is handling arrangements. Condolences may be left at www.misermortuaries.com .
Skip was born in Camp Cooke, S.D. He and his family moved to Conrad where he graduated from high school. He went to Kinman Business College in Spokane and then served three years in the U.S. Army. He came back to Conrad and started Skip’s Auto Sales. He married Margaret Shaw in 1950. They were married 40 years before her passing. In 1955 Skip bought Conrad Motor & Tire from Frances Knobel and sold the business in 1990. He married Arliss Pillatzke in 1992. During their 22 years of marriage they traveled to Hawaii, Alaska, Branson and spent 10 winters in California and Arizona.
Skip was a 50-year member of both the American Legion and the Conrad Lions Club. Skip played a big part in many people’s lives as an employer and also was known to lend a helping hand to many people who were down on their luck. He said, “Conrad has always been good to me so I was good to Conrad.” He helped organize Whoop-Up Days and Rodeo for many years and was Grand Marshall of the parade. Skip was very active at the Community Center, with Meals on Wheels, the Pondera Food Pantry and the Whoop-Up concession booth.
Skip is survived by his wife Arliss; sister Doris Ball of Great Falls; nephews John (Janie) McFarland of Conrad, Tom (Pam) McFarland of Valier, Hugh (Elaine) McFarland of Conrad, Bill (Linda) McFarland of Yuma, Ariz., Lonnie Ball of Bozeman and Jim Ball Jr. of Nevada. He is also survived by long-time close friends Don and Carol Miller. Skip and Don Miller had a father/son relationship for the past 55 years. Also surviving are stepchildren Steve Pillatzke of Helena, Dave and Lori Pillatzke of Helena, Kathy Meagher of Missoula, Marilyn Farley of Helena, numerous grandchildren and great-greatgrandsons.
Skip was preceded in death by his sisters, Eileen McFarland and Jean Peterman of Conrad.
Memorials are suggested to the Pondera Food Pantry.