Star Staff Reports
Homer Dee Skelton, 89, went home to be with the Lord on November 7, 2020 with his wife Catherine Moore Skelton by his side. The sum of one man’s life is the mark they leave on the world. And the mark left by Homer Skelton was a very large one. Almost as large as the hole in the hearts left by all who knew him. He was a Christian, a successful businessman, a philanthropist, an accomplished pilot, a veteran of the National Guard, and a devoted family man. He was a beloved husband, father, and “DeeDaddy”. His life was full of recognition and distinction. Yet he was humble, kind, caring, and generous. He lived a long life full of love, laughter, and longevity until God decided his work here was done. He fought the good fight, he finished the race, and he kept the faith. Homer and his twin sister, Deedie Skelton Thompson, were born on May 27, 1931 to Golden and Sparlin Skelton of Alamo, (deceased). They also had a younger brother, Franklin (deceased). Skelton had a passion and work ethic from an early age that drove him throughout his life. He believed in treating people the way he wanted to be treated. It was this simple philosophy that propelled him to own and successfully operate multiple car dealerships in Memphis, Millington, and Olive Branch. He told everyone he met, “If you do what you love, you will never work a day in your life.” He also believed in giving back and supporting his community. One hundred percent of his salary from his car dealerships for the past number of years went to the Homer Skelton Charitable Foundation to support his church, his community, and public and private schools in Memphis and DeSoto County. For more than twenty years, he provided coats, shoes, and bicycles to children in need. He equipped the Automotive Center at DeSoto County Schools Career Tech Center in Horn Lake. He helped build the “Field of Dreams” baseball field at Snowden Grove in Southaven for handicapped children. He provided hundreds of computers and technology to schools, an undisclosed number of scholarships for students, and behavior and leadership programs that changed many students’ lives. Many needy children were enabled to enjoy summer camps because of his quiet giving. The number of lives he touched through his generosity was truly countless. When making significant donations to schools each year, he never sought publicity for his good works. His one request year after year was to “Spend this on the children who need it the most.” If pressed, he would explain his giving philosophy, quoting Matthew 6:1-4, “But when you give to the needy, do not let your left hand know what your right hand is doing, so that your giving may be in secret. And your Father who sees in secret will reward you.” He loved to give back to the community, and taught his family to do likewise. He had a heart for single mothers, and could not stand the thought of someone being hungry. He never wanted any recognition, only to make a difference. His abundant generosity is a huge part of his legacy. Some of the key organizations he has quietly supported monthly include:
*Pregnancy Care Center in Southaven *Memphis Boys and Girls Club *Shepherds Haven in Arlington, *Olive Branch Food Pantry *Special Kids & Families Daycare Center *Memphis Street Ministries *Hope House Day Center *Memphis Union Mission *Precious in Pink Prison Ministry *Agape Child & Family Ministry in Memphis *Care Wheels *Wesley Meadows Green House Campaign, home for Alzheimer’s unit in Hernando
Homer Skelton accepted Jesus Christ as his Lord and Savior at age 17 and remained faithful in ministry all of his life. Homer endured to the end with hope, optimism, laughter, and faith. He saw the best in everyone and believed in others even when they didn’t believe in themselves. Even in the face of great career success and accolades, Homer was most proud of his family and friends. They are forever changed by the love he freely expressed and gave.
He is survived by his wife Catherine Moore Skelton, who he lovingly referred to as his “Kingfish”. They had just celebrated their 34th anniversary.
His oldest daughter is Rhonda Lewis (Bobby Lewis). Her daughter Melissa Fowlkes (Will Fowlkes) have children Hillari Gharib (Tony Gharib), Zac Fowlkes, Gabriella Fowlkes, Bennett Fowlkes. Her son Michael Pope (Heather) has a daughter named Adalae. Hillari has two daughters Savannah and Daphne.
His second daughter is Renee Hollingsworth who has two daughters Brooke Hayes & Tiffany Rowley. He is preceded in death by Renee’s son Joshua Baker and Brooke’s daughter Hannah Hayes.
His youngest daughter is Michelle Skelton Chapman (Brian Chapman). Her daughter is Chelsie Chapman Gilbert (Bo Gilbert). Her sons are Brennon Chapman and Jeremiah Chapman. Chelsie has son Carter Gilbert and two daughters Kessler Gilbert & Kindsay Kate Gilbert. Family Ashley Ragan (Ginger) have daughter Abbey Ragan-Bhanot (Saarth Bhanot) and son Will Ragan. Erika Cobb (Steve Cobb) has son Alex Middleton and daughter Ragan Middleton.
He also leaves behind three fur babies Grace, Lily, and Casey. He had many friends and loved ones who he truly considered to be family as well.
He was a faithful member of Longview Heights Baptist Church in Olive Branch as long as his health allowed and was a faithful member of Jerry Greene’s Sunday School class. He gave money to build a Family Life Center for Longview Heights Baptist Church and a second one at Longview Point Baptist Church in Hernando.
The family would like to express their appreciation to everyone for their prayers and loving support. His loved ones covet your continued prayers as they rejoice for him and his glorious home going, but grieve deeply such a massive loss. As 1 Thessalonians 4:13 says, “We grieve, but not as those without hope.” Our hope in Jesus, as well as Homer’s hope in Jesus, makes the grief easier to bear. Homer would have no greater joy than to know that his life and death pointed others closer to Jesus. His family hopes to honor his life by serving others, loving our families well, loving Jesus more and more, and living an intentional life in preparation for our own deaths. This will be the most fitting memorial to the man we loved and called Homer, Daddy, or DeeDaddy.
The family received relatives and friends on November 16, until the time of the funeral service at Longview Heights Baptist Church in Olive Branch, Miss. The entombment immediately followed at Memorial Park Cemetery, in Memphis.