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Obituary: Skok, Phillip P.

Phillip P. Skok 1922 - 2014 Phil Skok passed away peacefully in his sleep on Friday morning, April 11, 2014 after a short illness, just 18 days shy of his 92nd birthday. Dad was a lifelong resident of the Chewelah-Valley area. He grew up in Jump Off, the son of Joseph and Annie (Salokar) Skok with his 14 brothers and sisters. He attended Valley High School and graduated as class valedictorian. In 1943, Phil joined the Army Air Corps and was sent overseas. He piloted his B-17 on 51 missions and was awarded the Distinguished Flying Cross. On his return from the war, he attended Gonzaga University and graduated with his law degree in 1949. He practiced law for 52 years before retiring in 2001. Phil married Mary McGrorty in October of 1953 and they were together for 54 years before she passed away in March of 2007. He is survived by their children, Phillip Jr., Margaret Fitzgerald and fiance Ralph Humphreys, Dennis, Sheila Neale and son-in-law William. He is also survived by his two remaining brothers, Father Charles, Nick and his wife Shirley, and his two remaining sisters, Betty White and Helen Kreutz and her husband Tom, and sisters-in-law Eleanor, Barbara, Kathy, Buddy, Anne Mertens and her husband Richard, and many, many nieces and nephews. Dad joins his parents: Joseph and Annie (Salokar) Skok, and his brothers and sisters: Louie, Joe, Pete, Frank, Jasper, John and wife Reggie, Mamie Johnson and husband Kent, Willa Chitwood and husband Dick, Agnes Hurbi and husband Al, Sister Anne, and Betty’s husband Arvin White. When Phil was nominated and received the 2003 Honored Citizen Award in Chewelah, a letter writer commented: “Nearly every noteworthy feature of today’s Chewelah has Phil Skok’s fingerprints on it somewhere. He is one of the true giants and gentlemen in Chewelah history.” Phil formed a corporation to help build the first restaurant in Chewelah, The Chalet. He lent his time and expertise to form the initial corporation that developed 49 Degrees North Ski Area. He also helped form the non-profit corporation of the Chewelah Golf & Country Club and served on the board of directors for 25 years. Phil was also one of the founders of the Southern Stevens County Health Care Association and attended weekly meetings for 10 years which eventually resulted in the Northeast Washington Health Program. He traveled to Washington DC to gain assistance in securing the loan which enabled construction of the new St. Joseph’s Hospital. Dad was always active in the community. He had 55 years of perfect attendance with the Chewelah Kiwanis Club and served as it’s president and the division’s regional lieutenant governor. He was instrumental in the creation of the Kiwanis Chewelah Manor for senior citizens and was honored as Kiwanian of the year in 1974. He served as president of the Chamber of Commerce and also has been Commander of the American Legion and Finance Officer in the 50+ years he was a member. He was also a past Grand Knight of the Knights of Columbus. He served with distinction as attorney for the City of Chewelah for over 30 years. Dad loved to golf, bowl, play in the pool league, and watch his Seahawks, Mariners and college sports, especially Zags basketball. He liked to gamble a little and loved his Friday night out at the Legion Club. He also loved to cook and helped with many steak feeds, crab feeds, and barbeques. He made the best pancakes and his cinnamon rolls were outstanding. He also loved to garden and was very proud of his roses and shared those blooms whenever he could. He loved to travel to visit relatives and somehow managed to put Las Vegas as a destination point in many of these family vacations. Tradition and commitment was a Phil Skok hallmark: To God, to his church, to his family and to his friends. He lived a great and wonderful 91 years of life and he was respected and loved. He will truely be missed and never forgotten. A Rosary will be held on Tuesday, April 15, at 7 PM at the Danekas Funeral Chapel in Chewelah. Services will be held on Wednesday, April 16, at 1PM at St. Mary’s Catholic Church in Chewelah. Please go online to and sign the guestbook. DANEKAS FUNERAL CHAPEL and CREMATORY are entrusted with the arrangements.