Daniel Martin Skilbred peacefully passed away January 5, 2020 surrounded by his loving wife and children in Hermitage, Tennessee. A Celebration of Dan's life will be held at Vinje Lutheran Church in Willmar, Minnesota on Saturday, January 25 at 11:00 a.m. with visitation one hour prior to the service. In lieu of flowers, memorials can be sent in honor of Dan to The Michael J. Fox Foundation (www.michaeljfox.org). Arrangements by Peterson Brothers Funeral Home in Willmar (www.petersonbrothers.com).
Dan was born to Hobart and Grace (Christensen) Skilbred on April 12, 1949 in St. Paul, Minnesota. He was baptized May 29, 1949 and confirmed May 17, 1964. Dan grew up in Mauston, Wisconsin, Crosby and Arnegard, North Dakota and finished high school in Pierpont, South Dakota, where he was the valedictorian. He graduated from Concordia College in Moorhead, Minnesota, majoring in vocal music and math, in 1971. A blessing in his life was being a member of The Real Thing where he sang and played bass guitar, keyboard, and baritone. His fellow members became treasured life long friends. The most important gift he received at Concordia, though, was meeting DeAnna (Boldenow) who was the love of his life. They married on July 7, 1973 at Our Savior’s Lutheran Church in Chokio, Minnesota. In February 1975, Dan and De joined Dan’s brothers in Fairbanks, Alaska and eventually settled in North Pole. Within a few years, Dan started working for the Alaska State Troopers as a radio dispatcher, and in 1991, he transferred to dispatch at Fairbanks International Airport. He was well respected by his colleagues, and his service to the State lasted almost thirty years. Dan enjoyed forty years of the beauty of Alaska - especially the summers. Throughout his life, music was always a key part of Dan’s life. He was an avid Minnesota Twins baseball fan and never missed a chance to play catch with his children. Dan was fond of camping, fishing, and being outdoors with De. Relishing adventures with his family, Dan led the family down the AlCan countless times. Dan loved A&W root beer floats! A strong faith and church life was also an essential part of Dan’s adult life, attending worship and participating in music groups, Bible studies and ministry. Dan especially got a kick out of using humor and sharing his quick wit with others. Having endured enough winter weather, Dan and De embarked on their new adventure in 2015, moving to McKendree Village in Nashville, Tennessee. Dan delighted in being near his son Dustin, making new friends, and watching the birds and fireflies.
Left to cherish his memory are his beloved wife DeAnna and dearly loved children David (Katie Sieg) Skilbred of Albany, New York, Dawn Skilbred (Sacha) Hall of Westborough, Massachusetts, Dustin Skilbred of Hendersonville, Tennessee, and Dane (Ingrid) Skilbred of Willmar, Minnesota and grandchildren Courtney, Adam, Andrew, Isaac, Laurel, Rachel and Emma. He is also survived by his siblings Kay Chapman Cole (Gary), Mark (Lorena) Skilbred, Philip Skilbred, Rebecca (Harry) Telling, Evangeline Anderson, John Skilbred, and brothers-in law Jan (Janet) Boldenow and Joel (Jane) Boldenow, and by many nephews and nieces. He was preceded in death by his parents, brother Larry Person, sister Miriam Skilbred, and De’s parents Herb and Dena Boldenow.