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Jacob Fulham Skinner, of Peterborough, New Hampshire, died of congestive heart failure at age 80 on October 2, 2022, at the Monadnock Community Hospital. He was born in Boston, Massachusetts, on August 19, 1942, the son of Joseph and Sarah (Steckel) Skinner. After graduating from Cambridge Academy, he enlisted in the United States Army, serving in Germany, South Korea, and Vietnam. Upon returning from military service, he enrolled at Keene State College, earning a bachelor’s degree in history in 1972. History was Jake’s first love. He read extensively on historical subject, especially mediaeval history, but also the biography of military leaders of World War II, U. S. presidents, and kings and queens of England. Loss of much of his sight due to an infection in 2013 did not stop his appetite for historical subjects. He read with the aid of a MagniSight Explorer on loan from the New Hampshire Association for the Blind (now, Future in Sight).
All of his adult life Jake worked in the food service industry. When he lived in the Boston area, two of the larger restaurants where he was employed were the Ritz Carlton Hotel in Boston and the Sheraton Commander Hotel in Cambridge. After he moved to New Hampshire, the two job sites that he most enjoyed and remembered for the friendships he formed there were the Elm City Restaurant and Brewery in Keene and, his last position, at The Waterhouse Restaurant in Peterborough. His lack of full sight since 2013 resulted in his decision to seek employment in Peterborough. When friends first asked him where he was working after leaving Elm City, he said, “I work two football fields away from my home at The Waterhouse Restaurant.” In the warm months, friends would greet him sitting at an outdoor table with a snack after work across from Roy’s Market on Main Street in Peterborough.
Jake also was a devout Episcopalian all of his life. Until experiencing failing health in recent months, he attended the 8:00 o’clock Sunday service at All Saints’ Church. A further commitment to the church was his enrollment with deep interest in the inaugural four-year Education for Ministry Program, which was taught by the Reverend Sarah Robbins-Cole, wife of the rector then at All Saint’s, the Reverend Adrian Robbins-Cole.
In addition to his sister, Sarah Skinner of Peterborough, Jake is survived by his cousin, Peter Ward, of Gainesville, Florida, his wife, and four children and their families of Florida and Georgia.
A memorial service will be held on Wednesday, November 2, at 11:00 AM at All Saints’ Church, 51 Concord Street, Peterborough, NH. Burial will take place following the church service at the All Saints’ columbarium adjacent to the church.
In lieu of flowers, donations may be made in Jake’s name to Future in Sight, 25 Walker Street, Concord, NH 03301; and the Gary Sinise Foundation, P. O. Box 40726, Nashville, TN 37204. Jake is shown in the photo here taken with his mother and sister at his mother’s home in Nelson one week before her death in September 1995.