Thomas Joseph Skates, Sr., 74, of Prairie Village, KS, passed away on Friday, August 11th, at home, surrounded by his family. Tom was born July 5, 1943, at St. Luke's Hospital, to Suzanne Rachel (Assunta Rachele) Lispi-Pucci and Raymond Ellis Skates.
Tom was a graduate of D.M. Pinkerton Grade School 1956, Southeast High School 1961, University of Kansas 1965, University of Missouri at Kansas City School of Law 1968. He was a member of the United States Army Reserve 1968-1974, rank of Specialist E-5; Chief Auditor and Administrative Commissioner of the Probate Court of Jackson County, MO 1968-1974; Adjunct Professor of Law of Estates and Trusts at the University of Missouri at Kansas City 1969-1974; Associate Attorney, Jackson, Sherman, and Barker 1969-1970; Associate Attorney, McDowell, Rice, and Smith 1989-1998; President and CEO of Kansas City Rubber and Belting Company 1998-2014. He was the President of Native Sons and Daughters of Kansas City 1997.
Tom especially enjoyed his studies of Roman and English history, his extensive library, and Jeopardy. He knew almost EVERYTHING about history and was always the winner in a game of Trivial Pursuit. He had an amazing mind. Friends and family often joked that he was the original Google.
Tom loved spending evenings with his family. Nothing pleased him more than a Thursday night watching The Gong Show with his wife, his children, and his grandchildren. He treasured his and Donna's many beloved rescued dogs and cats. He also delighted in the family lake house.
He is survived by the love of his life, Donna Jane Howard Hunt Skates (married 50 years in June); his beloved children, Suzanne Rachel Campbell (Mike) and Thomas Joseph Skates, Jr. (Anne); his amazing grandchildren, Lily Straatman Campbell, Julia Lawrence Campbell, John Patrick Skates, and William Joseph Skates; his brother, Ronald Joseph Skates (Mary); his nieces, Melissa Pinero (Jose) and Elizabeth Skates (Jim Maccarone); his grand-nephew, Simon Pinero; and his grand-niece, Camille Maccarone.
Tom was preceded in death by his parents, Sue and Raymond Skates, and his grandparents, Joseph and Roxie Skates and Louis and Amelia Lispi.
Visitation will be held at Leawood Baptist Church, 8200 State Line Road, Leawood, KS, Saturday, August 19th, at 2 pm and funeral service at 3 pm. In lieu of flowers, please make a donation in Tom's name to Great Plains SPCA, attn: The Hero Team, 5424 Antioch Drive, Merriam, KS 66202, or your favorite shelter.