Howard E. Skillings

Howard E. Skillings died on July 10, 2020 in Portland, Maine.       

(The following was published on

Howard Eugene “Gene” Skillings, of Portland, Maine, died peacefully on Friday, July 10, 2020, at the age of 85 at Maine Medical Center after suffering a stroke.

He was born in Portland in 1934, spending his early childhood in Pine Point in Scarborough. He later lived in Portland, where he attended Lincoln Junior High School and graduated from Deering High School. In 1953, Howard joined the Marine Corps for three years, serving part of that time in Korea immediately following the Korean War.

After his discharge from the Marines, he attended Portland Junior College before transferring to the University of New Hampshire, from which he graduated in 1960 with a degree in accounting.

Howard married Denise Devine Chaplin in 1957, after meeting her on a blind date while in college. He and Denise raised three children, residing for a few years in Brunswick but primarily in Portland. He spent his entire career in finance, at Bowdoin College, UNUM, and Maine Savings Bank.

While at Maine Savings, he earned the designation of certified bank auditor from Brown University and became vice president of audit.

In retirement, Howard spent almost two decades volunteering in multiple capacities at Brighton and Maine Medical Centers.

Howard was a community-oriented person who volunteered in numerous capacities throughout his life. He was a servant at heart, volunteering in leadership roles for organizations including the Woodfords School, Deering High School Band treasurer, Woodfords Church, and the Woodfords Club. His hobbies included tennis and squash, and he was an avid card player, with cribbage being his favorite game. Howard had a mischievous and playful spirit with family and close friends, including wrestling with his sons.

In alignment with his servant heart, he and his wife opened their hearts and home to others, particularly friends of his children. He enjoyed traveling to visit family and friends with Denise in retirement.

He was predeceased by his wife, Denise Skillings, in 2016.

He is survived by his sister, Kathelene Raynes of Pittsfield, ME; his three children, Jonathan Skillings (Roberta) and grandsons, Matthew and Anthony, of Marlborough, MA; Linda Ohl (Michael) and granddaughters Gabriela and Jallyssa, of Worcester, MA; and Mark Skillings (Rebecca) and granddaughter, Katherine, of Avon Lake, OH, and his companion, Kitty Thomas, with whom he lived.


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