John M. Skelly, Sr.
Jul 23, 1940 – Mar 22, 2019
Dr. John M. Skelly, Sr. PHD, 78, of Broadway, Virginia passed away Friday, March 22, 2019 at his eldest son’s home.
Dr. Skelly was a member of St. Jude Catholic Church and the Belmont Ruritan Club in Mineral, Virginia. He retired in 2004 as a Professor Emeritus Plant Pathology and Physiology from Penn State University. Dr. Skelly was world renowned for his work in Air Quality Research and cared deeply and served all the communities he lived in. He continued his career having projects with the Virginia Living Museum with NASA and the Goddard Space and Flight Center in Glendale, MD.
Survivors include his wife, Linda C. Skelly; children John M. Skelly Jr. (Donna) of Broadway, Va. Rebecca Hanau (Doug) of Montpelier, Va., Patricia Daily (Pat) of Tomball, Texas and David M. Skelly (Lisa) of Pendleton, SC; 13 grandchildren; seven great-grandchildren; and his brother, Dr. Thomas D. Skelly Jr. of Jeanette, PA. He was preceded in death by his parents, Thomas D. and Eva G. Skelly.
The family will receive friends from 4 to 6:30 p.m. on Wednesday, March 27 at Woodward Funeral Home.
A funeral service will be held at 3 p.m. on Thursday, March 28 at St. Jude Catholic Church. Interment will be private.
In lieu of flowers, memorials may be made to the Belmont Ruritan Club of Mineral, Va.
I’m sorry for your loss. May the God of all comfort be with you during this difficult time. You have my condolences.
Dear Linda, I am very sorry to learn from these sad news. John was a good friend and a mentor – just a great guy! I miss him! Please, accept my condolences. My thoughts are with you and your family.
My wife and I wish to pass our condolences to the entire family. I knew John as a colleague in the air pollution research field. John was an excellent scientist who contributed a great deal to our research field. I will miss John a great deal.
Dear Linda and the entire family of John Skelly –
Claudia and I would like to express our sincerest condolences to all of you with regard to the passing of John. I was thrilled to meet him for the first time over 20 years ago at the Air Pollution Workshop in Estes Park, CO. I had read his work for years and it was such a pleasure to finally meet him in person. He was a “force” in the field and I grew to respect his sharp intellect, his excellent writing abilities, his sense of history of the field, and his dedication to both research and teaching.
I remember him telling me about how he used to teach in his air pollution class that one needed to know where the pollution came from as well as what it did to people and plants. He used to bring his students to a power plant to see the source of the pollution and then out in the field to see the impacts, and he did so without antagonizing the power plant company (as I recall, Allegheny Power helped support the air pollution garden he created on the Penn State campus). I never forgot that and when I started teaching my own air pollution class, I emulated him by taking my students to our local coal-fired plant and afterwards to the field to see injury symptoms. I am forever grateful to John for helping me improve my teaching!
John was one of the founders of the air pollution workshop, which did so much to advance the science of plant effects research. Although the workshop no longer meets, it was the impetus for forming the Asian Air Pollution Workshop, which to this day, attracts researcher from around the world to deal with air quality impacts on plants. That’s a legacy of John’s that you all can be proud of.
And no one can ever forget where John worked, because about every talk he ever gave contained a Nittany Lion in it somewhere!
We will miss John and I know everyone in the air pollution field realizes how lucky we were to have crossed paths with such a great person.
Our deepest sympathies, Howie Neufeld and Claudia Cartaya-Marin
On behalf of the Chappelka family I want to express my condolences to all of you on the loss of your beloved husband, father and grandfather. John was a mentor, role model and friend to me for over 35 years. What little success I’ve enjoyed in my career I owe to John. I always enjoyed his friendship and my interactions with him. He will missed, but not forgotten. John is now in a better place. He was a true visionary and one of the most honest people I have ever known. He will be missed, but not forgotten.
I’m very sorry for your loss. It’s hard to imagine that someone who is full of life and enjoys the things they did, go to sleep in death. Especially when you have so much more to offer. No one in history, who is healthy, wants to die. God has put eternity in our hearts and he wants us to enjoy life forever. (Psalms 37:29). Gods purpose has not changed and soon we will be under his rulership with Jesus being king. His Kingdom will end the sufferings we face today. Doctors spend countless hours looking for cures and millions on medication that they hope will work. Jesus simply said “you are cured “ I’m really sorry for your loss. Words do bring comfort but the Bible heals our heart.
Prayers for the family. I am sure there will be trees in Heaven in need of his help!
Dear Linda and family:
Fran and I extend to you our deep sympathy for your loss. The world will be poorer with the loss of a good man.
Dear Linda and Family: Fran and I extend our sympathy to you and your family for your loss. Our relationship with you and John extended over many years. Many fond memories of working with John and the gatherings with you both. Fran and Dick Stevenson
To Linda and Family,
Connie and I and the rest of the Alexander family wish to express our deepest sympathy for your loss. John was my mentor and friend that I will always remember for his energy and commitment to his family and his profession. As I look around my office today, I see reminders of the many ways that John has touched my life. He will be missed, but his memory will always be with us.
Dear Linda and family, We were shocked and saddened by the passing of John. He was a special person and colleague. It was indeed an honor to have known John and to have worked with him. Out thoughts and prayers are with you.
A brilliant scientist and a milestone for the air pollution community worldwide, including myself. I feel honored I had the opportunity to meet him. My condolences to the family
he was a great scientist
Dear Ms. Kelly and family, On behalf of the International Union of Forest Research Organizations (IUFRO), please allow me to express our deepest sympathy for your loss. Dr. Kelly has served IUFRO in various capacities for many years and has contributed enormeously to promoting scientific exchange and collaboration on air pollution. He will be greatly missed.
My condolences to the family. I had the pleasure of interacting with John over the years at many air pollution meeting and in reading much of his work. I hope you find some comfort and peace in knowing that his research combined with other studies helped to provide support for increasing Clean Air Act Regulations, the result of which has led to improved air quality and forest health today. In that way, his legacy lives on.
I was so sorry to hear of Uncle Jack’s passing. The news brought back so many wonderful childhood memories of our families’ summer camping trips, and Thanksgiving and Christmas get-togethers. I am grateful to have those memories of him and the rest of the Skelly family. I loved him as a wonderful, energetic and fun-loving uncle, but after reading the prior tributes, I am reminded just how well-respected he was during his life, both as a friend, and as an esteemed colleague. My thoughts and prayers are with you, Aunt Linda, and John/Beck/Patty/David and their families. Although I can’t travel back to Virginia at the moment, I will be with you in spirit.
Love, Teri Mercill and family
My condolences to John’s family and friends. The world of Air Pollution research has lost a giant, and a champion for good science. John was larger than life, an excellent colleague, and will be sadly missed.
Dear Ms. Skelly and Family,
I was very sorry to hear of John’s passing. I will be praying for you and your family which meant a lot to me during my years growing up in Blacksburg. I pray that you lean on the Lord during these days and the days ahead. He was a very nice man and raised along with you, a wonderful family.
Love you all,
Dear Linda and family, I am so sorry for your tremendous loss. You and a Jack were so important to me while we were at the law firm. I learned so much from both of you. Your children were so blessed to have grown up with such wonderful parents. All of you inspired me to be the best and kindest person I could be. Please treasure the wonderful memories I know you have.
To Linda – My deepest and heartfelt condolences to you. May you have the comfort of your happy memories and your wonderful family, your friends, and faith. I am so grateful that you helped us for so many years. And when Jack helped you, he helped us. A good and devoted man.
Dearest Linda,Words cannot express my sorrow at Jacks passing, my hours with him and all the family are precious to all – love Sue
Dear Linda and Family, John was such a fine scientist and colleague. He was also a ‘hoot’ and loved to joke and have fun. John made a major difference too many. He will be missed by us all. I will always smile every time I think of John. I wish you and the family my deepest regards.
Linda and family, I forget when John left Virginia Tech, but while here he was a hard worker and productive scientist. I didn’t follow his work at Penn State, but I think it was his life-long dream to return there. He leaves many memories here for the very few remaining of us who knew him. He was an incurable optimist, a trait that everyone needs in a troublesome and fast-changing world, in many cases in a wrong direction. I think that we shared an Irish ancestry. Our mutual Christian faith is our only remaining anchor in life. Jay and Karen Stipes