Neil Thomas Skaggs

Neil Thomas Skaggs, 67, of Normal passed away peacefully on February 17 at home surrounded by his wife and daughters.  A memorial service will be held at a later date this summer.  Interment will be in Willow Springs, Missouri.
Neil was born in Mountain Grove, Missouri, on October 29, 1953, to Thomas E. Skaggs and Doris Bartlett Skaggs.  He graduated from Willow Springs High School in 1971 and the University of Missouri in 1975.  On July 24, 1976 he married Barbara Wehmer in Willow Springs.
In 1980 Neil received his doctorate in Economics from Duke University and had already started his career in 1979 as a professor of economics at Illinois State University.  His areas of specialty were Principles of Economics, Money and Banking, and History of Economic Thought.  He was an author of the textbook Economics: Individual Choice and Its Consequences. He also served as an interim chair for three departments—economics, chemistry, and psychology.   Neil was also active on the ISU credit union board, serving as chairman.  Neil and Barb spent two semesters with ISU study abroad in Austria.  He retired in 2010.
Neil was an honest and hard worker who was generous with his time, talents, and money in serving Christ.   He was a Sunday School teacher for 23 years at Eastview Christian Church.  He was an author and editor of a survey of the Old and New Testaments that was used for the adult curriculum.  He was a longtime member of the Encounter Ministry Board at ISU, serving as chairman for many terms and in 1995 he was the interim minister.  He also served on mission teams to Haiti, Guatemala, and Uganda.  For several  years he served with B/N Emmaus teams as a speaker.
Neil was the devoted father of four girls who loved him immensely.  He enjoyed coaching and refereeing youth soccer.  He was an enthusiastic ISU and Duke basketball fan and Cardinals baseball fan. He also enjoyed participating in softball, vocal music, and 5k races.  He and Barb enjoyed travel and had visited more than twenty countries.  He was a wonderful husband, father, and grandfather and will be greatly missed.
Surviving are his beloved wife Barb, daughters Caroline (Jim) Sallee, Oakland, California; Becky (Brendan) Malone, San Diego, California; Meredith (Michael) Phillips, Grand Rapids, Michigan; and Lindsey Skaggs, Bloomington, Illinois; his eight grandchildren, Eleanor, Julia, and Grace Sallee; Calvin, Marian, and Ryan Malone; Eddie and Peter Phillips; his two sisters Jo Hendrix and Connie (Mackie) Beall, both from Kansas City, Missouri; and his mother-in-law Marguerite Wehmer, Willow Springs, Missouri.  He was preceded in death by his parents.
Neil was diagnosed August 2011 with posterior cortical atrophy, a rare dementia which he faced with courage and perseverance.  Our family would like to thank the many friends who encouraged and supported us through this long illness, especially the men who walked with Neil on the trail.  We are especially grateful for Eric and Peggy Hardy’s constant support in so many ways. 
Memorials may be made to ISU Encounter Ministry, 300 Normal Avenue.

Howell County News

110 W. Main St.,
Willow Springs, MO 65793

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