Wilbur Skeels was an instigator. He started things. The Ojai Valley Family Shelter was just one organization Wilbur’s vision, energy, and leadership helped bring into service.
While pastoring churches in New Zealand, Twentynine Palms, Thousand Oaks, Camarillo, and Ojai, Wilbur’s heart drew him beyond those churches and into their communities. A drug abuse hotline and a professional mental health program in Twentynine Palms for service men returning from Vietnam, The Hospice of the Conejo, which helped inspire Many Mansions and the Manna Food Bank in the Conejo Valley were founded or co-founded by Pastor Skeels.
Through his capable and collaborative leadership during the first decade of our Family Shelter, Wilbur helped establish an organization that caught the heart of our community and gave an avenue for hundreds of people to serve those less fortunate in their time of need.
The Reverend, Doctor, Pastor, Mister Wilbur Skeels—as he was affectionately known to the friends of his three sons—was also a completer. He finished things. The churches he pastored and the non-profit organizations he helped establish were on a solid basis to continue their ministries long after he left the scene.
Of course, the loss of Pastor Skeels is felt most acutely by his wife, Dee, his three sons and their families. Our hearts and prayers go out to them.
With each guest welcomed in from the cold, each meal served, each blanket unfolded, we see the light in Wilbur’s eye and sense his smile.
We serve in the footsteps of a great man. To God be the glory.
Rev. Lyn Thomas
Chair, Board of Directors