Gary D. Skiye, 79, Belmond, died Sept. 11, 2021 at Iowa Specialty Hospital -Belmond following a stroke. Services were held Sept. 16 at the Belmond United Methodist Church. Burial with military honors was in the Belmond Cemetery.
Gary, son of Willis “Bill” and Dorothy (Alley) Skiye, was born May 18, 1942 at the Clarion Hospital. He grew up in the Clarion area and graduated from Clarion High School in 1961. He was involved in football, track, wrestling and FFA. In addition, Gary spent a great amount of time helping his father on the farm. This is where his lifelong work ethic was planted, a belief he shared with his children.
After graduation, Gary served in the United States Armed Forces and the Army National Guard. He was on active duty from March 1961 to March 1964, was honorably discharged as a PFC, and continued to serve in the Army National Guard until February 1967.
Gary met the love of his life, Carolyn Cummings, when she was employed as a car hop at the Belmond A&W Drive-In. This special meeting lead to a favorite past time the two of them shared — the love of roller skating at the roller rink at Lake Cornelia. Gary and Carolyn were united in marriage on May 26, 1963. Their union was blessed with daughters Angela, Paula and Jennifer, and son Daniel. For the next 57 years the couple lived in Belmond where they enjoyed raising their children.
Initially, Gary worked as a farm hand for the Keller family before he began a lifelong career as a professional truck driver. Early on he drove for Coke and Umthun Trucking, and eventually owned and operated his own semi tractor, driving as G.D. Skiye Trucking, Inc. Later, he went on to work for Commercial Services, Inc. Gary had an engineering mind. He loved to build things with his hands and do remodeling and construction jobs, which led him to operate Skiye Handyman Service for many years. Though he had retired from trucking full time, he shuttled employees for the railroad for a number of years.
Gary and Carolyn loved to support their children and grandchildren in all their endeavors and extra-curricular activities. They rarely missed a dance recital, soccer or basketball game. They would make every effort to be at family events, baptisms, weddings, funerals, graduations or other special occasions. His grandkids cherish memories of Gary and Carolyn attending dozens of Grandparent Days at their schools. Gary looked forward to helping his grandson build Pinewood Derby cars, and they were champions three years in a row. Gary and Carolyn enjoyed countless hours of relaxation and enjoyment fishing on area lakes, and shared this passion with their children and grandkids. The couple had taken the family on fishing excursions “up north.” Gary loved to catch northerns, walleyes and crappies.
He enjoyed Carolyn’s kitchen creations, but wasn’t opposed to sharing a his own culinary delights as well. Family members recall Gary making chili, cinnamon rolls, and a variety of breads. He was a Master of the Grill! The couple loved gardening and looked forward to canning and making all kinds of sauces and other goodies. He was even known to concoct made-from-scratch Play-Doh.
Gary loved to watch and feed the birds, and enjoyed listening to the sounds of the 50’s, the Beach Boys, Dion, Jan and Dean and classic country artists such as Johnny Cash. He was always fixing and tinkering on things and often had a project going.
He and Carolyn helped their kids and their families do projects. If he wasn’t able to be there to fix something, or if they needed advice or instructions as only a dad could give, Gary would always be willing to lend his two cents. They will truly miss being able to bounce things off him and his support. They will think of him when someone is whistling, as more often than not, Gary was filling the air with his whistle as he went about the day. His family will miss his colorful storytelling and words of wisdom. He always shared his opinion. He was very proud of all of his family, meticulous in all he did, and truly believed in hard work and respect for one another.
Gary had a love for speed. In earlier years, when he would spend time with his brother Duane, he would drag race on the back roads on the way home for military leave. This love for speed continued through the years as he looked forward to watching Nascar and his favorite driver, Jeff Gordon.
Gary enjoyed a wide variety of television shows, and he could often be found with sidekick “Cat” watching Nova, crime shows, Mystery of Oak Island, Survivor, Amazing Race, How Things Are Made, or cheering for the Hawkeyes. He would always have a Diet Coke and bowl of wavy chips within reach.
Gary enjoyed conversations with his neighbors and niece Bobbi (Ed) Miller and Brooklyn and their families. He appreciated the support they had shown him since Carolyn passed last July. He was a very generous man who supported the Boy Scouts of America, Special Olympics, veterans groups, and other organizations.
His memory will be carried forward in the hearts and minds of his loving children and their families, including daughter Angela Covington (Manuel Lerna) of Alden; daughter Paula (Randy) Schnell of Clear Lake; son Daniel Skiye of Mason City; daughter Jennifer (Jerry) Headington of Pleasant Hill; 14 grandchildren; and 20 great-grandchildren.
He was preceded in death by his mother and father; in-laws Roy and Lenore “Jo” Cummings; wife Carolyn (July 2, 2020); siblings Marlene Harty, Duane Skiye, Sandy Stokke and infant sister Deloris Skiye; granddaughter Sarah Skiye; grandson Connor Skiye; nephews Rob Skiye and Dwight Martin; sisters-in-law Marilyn Dillion and Sharon Skrovig; son-in-law Dale Covington; and brother-in-law Ken Skrovig.