Bluefield Daily Telegraph, Bluefield, WV

June 8, 2014

Willie Belle Skelton

8/7/1928- 6/6/2014


Bluefield Daily Telegraph

DANIELS — Willie Belle Skelton, 85 of Glade Springs, Daniels, died Friday, June 6, 2014 after a long but courageous battle with cancer. Her motto was “live until you die” and she certainly did. As a longtime resident of Raleigh County, she developed lasting friendships and was regarded as a loving, caring and giving woman. She was a member of United Methodist Temple.

The daughter of Lake Theodore Jennings and Lena Boice Jennings, Willie Belle was born in Camp Creek, WV. She has two sisters, Reba Blevins of Glen Morgan and Dorothy Warren (deceased) and one brother, Ted Jennings of Camp Creek. Her son, Alan Skelton lives in Hendersonville, NC with his wife Janie Anderson Skelton. Her grandchildren are Scott Skelton (wife Rene') of Morganton, NC and Eric Skelton (wife Laura) of Charlotte, NC. Great grandchildren are Anderson Skelton, Caroline Skelton, Lauren Schulz and Samantha DeWeese. A special niece, Phyllis Farley of Glen Morgan, had supported her independence for many years.

Willie Belle was married to Lando Leslie Skelton for 41 years until his death in 1985. He was a retired VA Hospital Supply Manager and entrepreneur.

Willie’s professional career began as office manager for the Beckley Farmers Market. She spent 10 years there before becoming office manager and sales person for a mobile home and travel trailer business established by her husband and brother Ted. Four years later she and Lando formed Skelton Mobile Home Parts and Park on Tank Branch Road in Glen Morgan. They successfully served that business niche for 18 years before selling in 1984. In 1989, after a few years of not working professionally, she joined her son’s company in Charlotte, NC as President. She grew CTI (a telecommunications company) exponentially in her 6 year tenure until it was sold in 1995. She maintained her residency in Raleigh County and returned for good in 1995.

Willie Belle and Lando spent many years traveling with friends to Square Dance Conventions. They were active locally in clubs and were part of the glue that kept the clubs going. Although Lando was “dance challenged”, she danced with grace and command. She continued dancing until recently with her great friend and excellent dancer, Ernie Smith of Wytheville, Va.

Golf and her friends at Glade Springs held a special place for Willie Belle. Unlike dancing, golf was a challenge, but she continued her quest to get better as late as June, 2013. When golf ended, the socializing with her friends didn’t and she was so appreciative of their desire to include her in activities.

Her other passion was to help others. She was a 40 year member of Quota International of Beckley. Her specific interest was in the Club’s Deaf support area. Grandson Scott is deaf and she started learning sign language 40 years ago so she could communicate with him. Years ago, Scott and Rene' established a yearly scholarship in her honor at the North Carolina School for the Deaf. Quota provided a way for her to spread her influence in the deaf world by supporting deaf needs in Raleigh County.

Visitation will be at United Methodist Temple, 201 Templeview Drive, Beckley at 1 pm on Tuesday, June 10, 2014 with services to follow at 3 pm with Pastor Chuck Pullins officiating. Burial will follow at Blue Ridge Memorial Gardens.

In lieu of flowers, please consider a donation to in her honor to: Quota Int’l of Beckley, P.O. Box 498, Beckley, WV 25802. Donations will go to support deaf and hard of hearing projects. Or Hospice of Southern WV, 454 Cranberry Drive, Beckley, WV 25801.

Donations will be specifically dedicated to the purchase of a van to support patients and their families, outreach and fund raising activities. $7000 has already been secured toward the $19,000 purchase.

Willie Belle will be missed by many and forgotten by few.

Private online condolences, floral tributes, and other expressions of sympathy may be directed to the family via our guestbook at www.roseandquesenberry.net.