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  • Kent Casson

Obituary: Skaggs

Randy Howard Skaggs, 69, of Chenoa, died just before 6:30 p.m. Wednesday, Aug. 16, 2023, at OSF St. Joseph Medical Center, Bloomington.

Born April 26, 1954, in Pontiac, Randy was the son of Elzie Howard Skaggs and Ethel Margie Jones of Chenoa. He married Jenifer Utterback on Oct. 1, 2005, in Chenoa. She survives.

He was preceded in death by his parents; a sister, Sharon (Art) Wheeler, of Fairborn, Ohio; and a brother, Kenny Davis, of Venice, Florida.

In addition to his wife, he is survived by his children, Allen (Robyn) Skaggs of Bloomington and Onyx Charron of Washburn; grandchildren, Andrew Skaggs of Chenoa and Connor Skaggs of Washington; sisters, Louanne (and the late Earl) Louze of Wausau, Wisconsin, Vicky (Dale) Roach of Chenoa, and Jerry Ann (Kenneth) Robinson of Bentonville, Arkansas; numerous cousins, nieces, nephews and “honorary” grandkids; and countless others he counted as family.

Randy attended Chenoa High School and enlisted in the Navy in 1971, where he was based in Pascagoula, Mississippi, and served overseas in the Vietnam conflict. He completed 10 years of service, working primarily as a storekeeper, and achieved the rank of E-6 Petty Officer.

After his time in the Navy, Randy worked for Caterpillar in Pontiac and the Heller Chevrolet dealership in Chenoa. He then worked for the Illinois Department of Transportation for over 20 years, retiring as a supervisor in 2016.

Randy was a man of many skills, and a friend and neighbor to many, so he stayed busy in his retirement years by helping people with any work they needed done, from carpentry to farming to mowing and more. Most recently, he was working with farmer Ted Barnard of Chenoa.

He served on the Chenoa City Council from 2006 to 2010 and campaigned for mayor twice.

He was active in Chenoa VFW Post 8350, including as past commander. He especially loved marching in parades with the VFW, and placing American flags and holding ceremonies for Memorial Day and Veterans Day.

He also volunteered the Chenoa Fourth of July Committee and was involved in ABATE of Illinois.

Randy enjoyed taking his grandkids to school and to the Fairbury Fair, riding motorcycles, participating in poker runs, and watching Chicago Bears and New Orleans Saints football. On Saturdays, you’d find him at The Brown Jug for the weekly drawing. He was a great cook, and was known for hosting garage parties and inviting all to attend.

Randy tried to maintain his tough exterior — many would say “his bark was worse than his bite” — but those who knew him best knew he loved to give hugs, never hesitated to say “Love you, kid,” and would do anything he possibly could to help someone who needed it.

He enlisted in the Navy when he was just 17, and he carried that drive to serve for the rest of his life, as he looked after his country, his Chenoa hometown, and his friends and family. His loss has left a hole in our family and community, and we miss him terribly, but we will try our best to take care of each other like he would have done.

Cremation has been accorded and services will be held at a later date. Duffy-Pils Memorial Home of Chenoa is handling arrangements.

Memorials may be left to Chenoa VFW Post 8350 or to ABATE Illinois.

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