Dan Henry Skeels
Dan Henry Skeels, was born on December 23, 1928, to parents Henry Franklin Skeels and Eunice Weaver in North Bend, Oregon.
Growing up, Dan lived in Portland, Mill City, and Rickreall, Oregon, with his grandmother, Wyatt Elliott. He attended school in Rickreall and graduated Valedictorian from Perrydale High School.
At the age of 16, Dan operated a gasoline station in Dallas, Oregon, and later became the youngest owner operator of a Chevron Service station in Rickreall.
During the Korean War, Dan joined the Oregon State Guard, which was formed to protect Oregon while the National Guard was called to active duty, protecting railways and other important facilities in the state. In 1948, he joined the Oregon National Guard and served until 1953, attaining the rank of Second Lt. in the 162nd armored division. His tank was called "HADACOL" because he had to call it something! He later joined the Army Reserve.
On October 12, 1949, Dan married Darlene J. Yocum and purchased their first home in Monmouth, Oregon. In November of 1950, they had their first child, Patricia Ann Skeels. During this time they also owned and operated the Haunted Mill Skating Rink in Rickreall. While he lived in Rickreall and Monmouth, he was an active volunteer fire fighter in both fire departments.
In August 1953, they had their second child, Michael A. Skeels. In 1957, he sold both the Chevron Station and the Skating Rink, which was later demolished for the realignment of U.S. HWY 99 W. He then operated a Chevron Oil tanker, delivering fuel to many logging camps and small towns in the Oregon Coast Mts. In 1958, Dan moved the family to Dallas and began delivering milk for Darigold in the same area in which he had delivered fuel.
In 1964 was transferred to Newport, delivering wholesale milk to retail stores and joined the Newport Volunteer Fire Department where he attained the rank of Lieutenant.
In 1970, moved to Madras where he owned and operated an Atlantic Richfield (ARCO) Station until 1981. He then drove school bus for the 509-J School District for many years. While in Madras, he also supported the local North Unit Rural Fire Dept. and became an honorary life member. Dan was a member of the United States Coast Guard Auxiliary, and a general class amateur radio operator (KA7FHB).
Aside from all the work, he played the accordion and enjoyed hunting, fishing, camping and boating with the family. He owned two power boats and two sail boats, and after retiring, enjoyed sailing in the San Juan's and later spent a number of winters snow birding in Arizona with their motor home.
Dan is survived by his wife of 71 years, Darlene Skeels; two children: daughter, Patricia Ann Tarrant, of Vancouver, Washington, and son, Michael A Skeels, of Bend; four grandchildren; and 11 great-grandchildren. Dan was a hard working business owner, dedicated loving father, and public servant.
Dan was a member of the Madras First Baptist Church and passed away in the presence of his family, at home on Friday, March 19, in Madras.