Robert Carl Skinner – Class of 1938

Robert Carl (Bob) Skinner passed away peacefully in his sleep on Monday, March 12, 2007.  He was 84.  He was born in Independence, Missouri, on October 30, 1922; he and his twin brother Roger, Jr., were the sons of Roger and Jessie Skinner.

According to Joan, surviving wife of Bob, both Bob and Roger, Jr., were born deaf.  Their father, Roger, Sr., worked for a hardware store in Independence.  The owner of the store and his wife fell in love with the twin boys and decided to support their expensive education at the Central Institute for the Deaf (CID) in St. Louis, Missouri, knowing that the twin boys’ parents could not afford it.  Their mother, Jessie, was a teacher at the public school in Independence.  She enrolled the boys at CID when the boys were three years old.  She became interested in deaf education, and she eventually studied deaf education at the Washington University, of which CID was affiliated with.  She graduated from the Washington University and trained at CID.  She became a successful English teacher who was greatly admired by her students.

Just before the boys’ graduation at CID in 1938, their father and Jessie’s two sisters drove to St. Louis to attend the graduation ceremony.  Their mother had been seriously ill for a month before she underwent a surgery.  She was allowed to attend the ceremony but had to return to the hospital.  The boys returned home to Independence with their aunts while their father remained in St. Louis to be with their mother.

The eulogy of Robert Skinner below was given at a memorial service at CSUN on March 24, 2007.