Monday, February 27, 2012


This would have been my father's 100th birthday. From the day after his funeral:
Dad’s funeral was yesterday, Monday, December 29, at the Milton Seventh Day Baptist Church, and he was buried in the Milton Cemetery, near the highway in the oldest part of the cemetery in a plot the folks purchased from members of the Goodrich family. Pastor George Calhoun of the Milton Church had the service and did a beautiful job describing Dad’s faith and life of integrity and service. Justin Camenga spoke for the family – apart from Mom he was the only one present who, as a child of six, had attended the folks’ wedding in 1942. He had also consulted with Dad’s older sister, Justin’s mother Evalyn, and conveyed information about Dad’s childhood none of us had heard before. A men’s chorus from the Milton church sang the old Milton College song “Song of the Bell” and “It is Well with My Soul.” Mom chose the hymn “When We All Get to Heaven” and we also sang the Brother James setting of “The Lord’s My Shepherd” and the hymn that was always sung at Milton College events, the great Isaac Watts hymn “O God, Our Help in Ages Past.” There was a reception after the service with the sharing of good memories. ....
This is from the obituary [with a couple of minor corrections] which appeared in the Janesville Gazette that Sabbath and Sunday.
Skaggs, Prof. J. Leland
February 27, 1912 - December 25, 2003

MILTON—Prof. J. Leland Skaggs died peacefully early Christmas morning at his home in the Milton Senior Living retirement home. Leland Skaggs was born in Shiloh, NJ on February 27, 1912, the son of Rev. James L. and Hettie Skaggs. Rev. Skaggs was a Seventh Day Baptist pastor, and the family moved several times before moving to Milton, WI, while Leland was in grade school. He attended and graduated from Milton Union High School and then went on to study at Milton College. J. Leland Skaggs graduated from Milton College in 1933. He also attended Columbia University. During the Depression he taught in New York City at CCNY and for the WPA. He served in the Army during World War II, teaching radio for the Signal Corps on the boardwalk at Asbury Park, NJ. After the war he became a mathematics professor at Milton College, Milton, WI. Apart from the Korean War period, when he was recalled to duty with the Army, serving as a Lieutenant and commanding a basic training company at Camp Gordon, GA, he continued to work at Milton College until retirement. He taught math, served as registrar for many years, and was appointed interim acting president. Leland was an active member and deacon of the Milton Seventh Day Baptist Church. He married Mary Elizabeth Bond in Salem, WV in 1942.

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