Michael J. Skeldon

  • Born: December 23, 1964
  • Died: November 4, 2019
  • Location: Wakefield, Massachusetts

McDonald Funeral Home

19 Yale Avenue
Wakefield, MA 01880

info@mcdonaldfs.com
Tel. (781) 334-9966

Tribute & Message From The Family


Michael J. Skeldon, 54, of Wakefield, Massachusetts (formerly of Kankakee, Illinois), died of complications from pancreatic cancer on Monday, November 4, at Brigham & Women's Hospital in Boston.

Born in Kankakee, Illinois, on December 23, 1964, to Judith (Jefferson) and Oran Lee Skeldon, Mike grew up surrounded by family, including parents, grandparents, great-grandparents, and a younger brother, Richard. While still a child, he discovered lifelong passions for construction, antique collecting, and sports. The many snow-filled Midwest winters of the 1970s gave Mike ample opportunity to hone his abilities in structural design; he build sidewalk-spanning snow arches strong enough to walk on. Using Lego, he designed and built working scale models of suspension bridges and drawbridges. At this point, his future career was not hard to predict.

Mike had a classic American boyhood, playing baseball, running cross country, rooting for the Cubs, delivering newspapers, and forming many lasting friendships. After graduating from Westview High in 1983, Mike went on to attend the Massachusetts Institute of Technology on a scholarship. His first night at college was spent in a dormitory. By the next night, he had moved into the venerable Phi Beta Epsilon fraternity, where he immediately felt at home. During a rush week event, a brother introduced him to a Wellesley sophomore, Lucy Calvin. By mid-1986, Mike and Lucy had two cats and an apartment together.

After graduating in 1987 with a degree in architecture, he began working for Kennedy & Rossi of Arlington as a planner. He later moved into project management as a vice president, where he oversaw the planning and construction of several buildings for MIT, Tufts University, Groton and Middlesex Schools, and Prospectus. The new headquarters for Tufts Health Plan developed by Prospectus, the intricate completion of a "glass pyramid" office building, and various drug production facilities for the bio/pharma industry were among his many notable projects. He subsequently rose to be lead executive in two new startup businesses, Hybrid Parking and KennTech.

In 1990, he and Lucy were married at Wellesley College's Houghton Chapel. They moved to Wakefield in 1991 and upgraded from cat parents to child parents in 1995 upon the birth of their daughter, Kathryn. Sons Christopher and Alexander followed in 1998 and 2003. Mike was an enthusiastic father, and supported any and all whims and passions demonstrated by his children. He chaperoned field trips, coached soccer and softball, built sets for the Wakefield High School Drama Club, attended student concerts, plays, and recitals, and cheered on his sons at cross country and track meets. He was always available to help with a move, demystify math homework, and offer advice. Mike was a devoted, dependable, and selfless husband, aiding and abetting Lucy's sometimes overambitious projects. At home he was adored by a continuous collection of cats, and by a dog, who appreciated his culinary skills as much, if not more than, the human members of the family. He had a great sense of humor and a strong wordplay game, volleying puns with the best of them. He never stopped trying to make life better for his family; he always seemed to be planning the next home improvement project. He was a member of the two-time TSF Trivia Team Challenge champion team Eponymous, and he was thrilled to live to see both the Red Sox and his beloved Cubs finally win their respective World Series.

In 2006, Mike joined Prospectus, where he became a senior project manager of major construction projects for Tufts University. At Tufts, he oversaw the construction of the Steve Tisch Sports and Fitness Center, the Science and Engineering Complex, and the installation of the new life-sized Jumbo statue. When he wasn't at Tufts, Mike was managing the renovation of the Phi Beta Epsilon house for his fraternity brothers at MIT. Mike was a natural problem-solver, and always asked the questions others hadn't. His children saw his work ethic firsthand, often accompanying him on late-night car rides to make sure a drainage pipe was working, or that a site had been cleaned up after a day's work.

In 2017, Mike began training with the Tufts Marathon Team, under legendary coach Don Megerle. Over many miles of practice, he bonded with other members of the team, and became a fixture at team runs. On April 16, 2018, Mike ran the Boston Marathon. He finished the race, tired and triumphant, as his proud but hypothermic family watched from the sidelines.

Mike was predeceased by his parents. He is survived by his wife, Lucy; his brother, Richard Skeldon, of Kankakee, Illinois; his uncle and aunt, Benny and Charlene Skeldon, both of Marco Island, Florida; his children, Kathryn, Christopher, and Alexander Skeldon; his brother- and sister-in-law, Nathaniel Calvin and Polly Siegel of Los Altos, California; and many beloved friends from every stage of his life.

Visitation for relatives and friends will be held on Tuesday, November 12, from 4–8 p.m. at the McDonald Funeral Home, 19 Yale Avenue, Wakefield, MA. A memorial service is planned for the spring.

In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions may be made in Mike's name to the UU Church of Wakefield Capital Campaign, P.O. Box 529, Wakefield, MA 01880.


Services


Condolence & Memory Journal

Lucy, I am so sorry for your loss.

Posted by Audrey Skeldon - Leesburg, FL   February 21, 2020

Candle

I am so sorry to miss Mike's visiting hours. Mike was my favorite project manager at Tufts and I always enjoyed working with him. He was so kind and helpful, intelligent and reliable. He understood to importance of creating lasting, sustainable buildings that would serve the current generation and future generations of people in ways that were enjoyable and efficient. I will miss him very much and am thankful to have known him for the past decade. Much love to his family who have lost such an amazing person.

Posted by Tina Woolston - Medford, MA - Coworker   November 22, 2019

I am honored to know Mike through our yearly PBE reunions. I am glad to know Lucy as well, even though I went through MIT 12 years earlier. And I also had a girlfriend who attended Wellesley by the name of Lucy, a wonderful person (like Lucy Skeldon)! My Lucy and I went separate ways, but happily remain friends. I grieve for you and your family. He was so liked by all of us Phi Bates. I wish for you and your family peace and serenity knowing that Mike will long be a part of our memories, our thoughts, and forever a valued member of PBE.

Posted by Nick Davis - Warrenville, IL - Friend   November 16, 2019

To Lucy and Family, Please receive my heartfelt condolences. I worked with Mike as a consultant on the Tufts SEC project. Mike was special and not just for his keen mind. I always appreciated that he was a gifted problem solver who looked at things from every angle and would not let go until he was satisfied that the team had shaken loose the optimal solution. He would not sit there and wait for us to produce; he rolled-up sleeves and hacked away with us. He made us up our game but always with the gentle air that was obviously a window to his wonderful spirit. Alway sharp, always kind. We do not have enough people like him - we will miss him. May wonderful memories and time grant you serenity and soothe the pain.

Posted by Pedro Sifre - Lexington, MA - Coworker   November 12, 2019

I had the good fortune to work with Mike on several projects at Tufts and seldom have I collaborated with a finer man. Mike worked through tough problems making the difficult look easy; he was responsible and dedicated. But you could sense that his true passion was his family; they were his lifelong project and source of his pride. He will miss them and we all shall miss Mike.

Posted by Jerry Burke - Wayland, MA - friend   November 12, 2019

I was terribly saddened to learn of Mikes illness and death. Despite not overlapping with Mike at our fraternity house, I got to know him when I was a graduate student at MIT. His positive outlook and friendly nature allowed him to rise above the workload and form great relationships with those around him including me. Living near Chicago, I have occasion to travel to Kankakee. Whenever I do, I think warmly of Mike. Lucy, my deepest condolences to you and your children.

Posted by Nick Nocerino - Hinsdale, IL - friend   November 12, 2019

What a great loss! My hugs and prayers are with Mike's family. Mike was one of my students when he was in high school and what a young man he was. Very bright, great sense of humor, fun and witty. Sadly he as joined his parents way too soon. I know he has left a vast hole in hearts who loved and knew him. May God fill the void with His peace and comfort. God bless you at this sad time.

Posted by Mary Otten Thomson - Kankakee, IL - Family Friend   November 12, 2019

My deepest sympathy to Lucy and Mike's family. As one of his fraternity brothers at MIT from a couple of years behind him, I remember his great sense of humor. I also remember his kindness and thoughtfulness when I was just starting out in college. I'm grateful that our paths crossed.

Posted by Nick Newman - Cincinnati, OH   November 11, 2019

Dear Lucy, I remember Mike from his first week at MIT when he came to the PBE Fraternity. We hit it off immediately as he was such a genuine person with a great sense of humor. So many memories and stories to tell from those MIT days (and many Wellesley trips). It was always great to reconnect with Mike at all our PBE reunions since I considered him more than a fraternity brother. He was one of those special people that thought first of others and gave whatever it took. He shall forever live in our memories. My deepest condolences to you and the entire family.

Posted by Jaime Guillen - London, UK - Friend   November 11, 2019

Selfless, hard working, open, friendly, engaged, supportive, up beat, active, thoughtful, clever, principled, and modest, with a can-do spirit. One hell of a rare and exceptional friend. His passing is a tragedy. But his legacy is something for which his family can be very proud. My heart goes out to them all.

Posted by Alan Joslin - Cambridge, MA - Friend   November 11, 2019

Dear Lucy and Family, my heart ached when I heard the passing of your beloved husband, Mike. My profound heartfelt condolences to you and your family for the loss of your husband. May his fond memories live on forever. I'm thinking of you. Joanelle xo

Posted by Joanelle DeLeire - Wakefield, MA - Friend   November 11, 2019

It was with shock and disbelief we heard on your passing Mike. The pass few days have been spent thinking of the times we've spent together both at work and play. At Fenway in 2004 when Dave Roberts and Big Papi sent the ALCS back to NYC. Taking a break from work in Chicago to take in a day game at Wrigley in 1999. Working complicated projects with too little time and too little money. Through it all you were always confident they would get done. You were often the smartest person in the room but never had the need to prove it. You were a loyal person. Loyal to your family. Loyal to your friends and loyal to your Midwest upbringing. We are sad for you leaving this earth too soon. There are still too many projects to do and games to play. Rest in Peace Mike.

Posted by John McDonald - Merrimack, NH - Friend   November 11, 2019

My sincere condolences to Mike's family. As an MIT fraternity brother from an earlier class, I knew that although he had many work and family responsibilities, he was never too busy to lend his help and advice when it came to managing PBE's 100+ year-old building, and he was instrumental in the recent renovation. We thank his family for sharing him with us.

Posted by Steve Wertheim - Cambridge, MA   November 11, 2019

Michael was a member of the Tufts Marathon Team and completed the Boston Marathon in 2018. I have never met a finer man than Michael Skeldon. John Morris, the Tufts University Athletic Director, said it best...'If you have a son you will want him to grow up and be like Mike Skeldon!'...The entire Tufts University community extends its sincere and loving condolences to Mike's family!!

Posted by Donald Megerle - Medford, MA   November 11, 2019

I worked with Michael during his Westview High School years in the Guidance Office. I remember him to be just like his obituary portrayed him. I knew when he left Westview he would make a big impression on the world. I would say Mike was one of the fabulous ones who passed through the halls of Kankakee Westview High School and my sympathy is extended to his family.

Posted by Phyllis Manker - Manteno, IL - Acquaintance   November 09, 2019

I worked for Judy in her last 6 years of life. She was so proud of her little family. I remember Michael as a very nice person twords me and grateful for me to help his mom and dad the best that I could. My prayers are with you during this difficult time. God's peace to you all!

Posted by Susan Harling - Clifton, IL - Family Friend   November 09, 2019

Lucy, KC, Chris and Alex we are shocked and saddened to hear of Mike's passing. You are in our thoughts and prayers. Please reach out if there is anything we can do. Laurie and Phil CHAN and family

Posted by Laurie Chan - Wakefield, MA   November 08, 2019

Lucy, KC, Chris and Alex We are so shocked and saddened to hear of Mike's passing. You are in our thoughts and prayers. Please don't hesitate to reach out if there is anything we can do. Laurie and Phil Chan and family

Posted by Laurie Chan - Wakefield, MA   November 08, 2019

My sincere condolences to Mike's family and community on such an untimely passing. I worked with Mike on a couple of projects with great pleasure. Smart, funny, wry, an optimist with a strong grounding in reality, I could never have asked for a finer collaborator.

Posted by Marc Rosenbaum - West Tisbury, MA - Coworker   November 08, 2019

Candle

Lucy and family, I am so sorry to hear about the passing of Michael, your dear husband and father.
May your memories of him live forever in your hearts.

Diane Hammerbeck

Posted by Diane Hammerbeck - Lynnfield, MA - Acquaintance   November 08, 2019


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