George J. Skoko
January 10, 2019
Due to a production error, the following obituary for George J. Skoko is being rerun. The Citizen apologizes for the error.
GEORGE J. SKOKO
Forever loved and remembered, we are saddened to announce the passing of George J. Skoko on Jan. 4, 2019, at the age of 97 years. George was preceded in passing by his beloved wife, Margaret (Knowles) Skoko, who passed away on Oct. 21, 2005, his eldest son, Michael Ivan Skoko, on July 5, 2011, his parents, Ivan and Kata Skoko, three brothers John, Paul and Tom, and two sisters Ann and Mary. Dad will be remembered by his remaining four children and their spouses, Gwen (Jack) Hughes, Stephanie (Rick) Rains, Deborah (Steve) Henson and Tommy (Patty) Skoko, along with 11 grandchildren, Rebecca (Omar) Gonzalez, Rachael (Al) Muxo, Stephen (Jennifer) Skoko, John (Tiffany) Hughes, Christopher (Kay) Hughes, Sohmer (Richie) Knowles, Cole Rains, Troy Henson, Erik (Lisa) Henson, Brandan Skoko and Monica (Kris) Hernandez. In addition, he had 22 great-grandchildren and six great-great-grandchildren. George is also survived by his younger sister, Katherine Skoko, of Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, along with numerous nieces and nephews.
George was born in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, on April 19, 1921, to Ivan and Kata Kania Skoko into a family of seven children. He graduated from Schenley High School with honors in June 1939. He joined U.S. Marine Corps in September 1939. He was sent to Parris Island for recruit training. After training he was assigned to the Marine barracks in Key West, Florida, in November 1939 but remained at Parris Island until Dec. 27, 1939 because the 1917 vintage barracks were being renovated. While he was stationed in Key West, he met and married his sweetheart on Oct. 13, 1941, Margaret Knowles, daughter of Theodore and Mary Louise Knowles, an old-time Conch family.
In March 1943, George was sent to Melbourne, Australia, and then entered the Pacific Theater, seeing action in the battles of New Guinea, Cape Gloucester, Peleliu and Okinawa with the 1st Marine Division. He was discharged in November 1945 and returned to Key West, a very decorated Marine, including the Presidential Unit Citation and the Navy Unit Commendation. He then began his career with the U.S. Post Office and remained there until his retirement.
George has been a long-time devoted member of the Basilica of St. Mary Star of the Sea Catholic Church, as well as an active member of the Key West Navy League and the Republican Party. On Nov. 12, 2011, he was recognized as the oldest living Marine (at the age of 90 years old) in Key West at the 237th Marine Ball. On his 97th birthday, April 19, 2018, he had the honor to meet President Donald Trump and Chief of Staff Gen. John Kelly on the tarmac at Boca Chica in front of Air Force One. He stated this was the best birthday present ever. George was well-read and versed on church history and world politics. He was a very dignified, intelligent, caring and loving person.
The family would like to personally thank Dr. Calleja, Dr. Jackson, Jesus C., Father John Baker, Sister Mary and the sisters of the Holy Spirit, Robin Rissler, RN, and Luda Logash (loving caregiver) and numerous friends that helped our Dad during the past few weeks. We will all miss Dad/George dearly.
A viewing will be held at Dean Lopez Funeral Home on Jan. 11, 2019 from 5 to 7 p.m. Rosary will be said at 6:30 p.m. A mass and funeral service will be held at the Basilica of St. Mary Star of the Sea Catholic Church on Jan. 12, at 11 a.m. The burial will take place at the Key West City Cemetery immediately following the mass, where George will be laid to rest next to his beloved Margaret and family. In lieu of flowers, a donation can be made to the Basilica of St. Mary Star of the Sea Catholic Church in memory of George Skoko.