A Member of the Greatest Generation

It is with deep and profound sadness that the family of Edward J. Skehan announce his passing at the age of 102, passing peacefully at his home surrounded by his children, on March 30, 2020. He was born and raised in Hartford, son of Edward J. and Beatrice (Lewis) Skehan and lived in the city for over 60 years. He was educated in the Hartford School system, graduating from Hartford Public High School and Hartford State Technical College. His childhood summers were spent on the family farm in Wapping, South Windsor at the home of his Uncle Raymond and Aunt Maude, it is there that he learned to ride horses bareback and would take rides to the beach in Uncle Raymond’s school bus that was converted into a camper. Ed also enjoyed collecting rare stamps and coins, and loved adding to his collection. Ed met his bride, Margaret (Peggy) Casey at G Fox & Co., married in 1942 and raised their family in Hartford. After graduating from both the HFD and HPD Academy, Ed joined the Hartford Fire Department in 1943 and was drafted by the US Army later that year. He saw action in WWII European Theater, crossing the Rhine River as a member of the 82nd Engineer Combat Battalion. He fought at the Battle of the Bulge and was honorably discharged in 1946. Ed returned to the HFD where he was on the fire line for 25 years as ladder driver at the corner of Main and Belden, Engine Co 2. He worked every major fire in Hartford, including the Cathedral of St. Joseph fire in 1956, the St. Patrick-St. Anthony Church fire and the Hartford Hospital fire in 1961 – retiring in 1968. After retirement from the HFD he focused on his career in real estate and business ventures throughout greater Hartford. Ed was the ultimate family man. His family was paramount to him and Peggy. He was a devoted and dedicated husband, father, grandfather and great-grandfather. He was our rock, our foundation and a true Patriarch. Ed and Peg retired to Newington in 1980 and enjoyed their retirement years with their family, which by now numbered over 50. He loved a family cook-out and a summer time parade. Ed was honored to be the Honorary Grand Marshall for the 2013 Newington Memorial Day parade and rode annually in the Hartford Veteran’s parade as well as the St. Patrick’s Day parade. He was a lifetime member of the VFW, The Battle of the Bulge Survivors, Charter member/organizer of the Hartford Firemen’s Union and proud 70 year member of the HPD/HFD Patrolmen’s and Firemen’s Association. He played on the HFD baseball and bowling teams. He was inducted into the Greater Hartford Twilight League Baseball Hall of Fame, and more recently into the HPHS Baseball Hall of Fame for his First Baseman athleticism. He was also presented with the City of Hartford Lifetime Achievement award for being noted as the oldest, and longest retired fireman – 52 years! He loved the camaraderie of belonging to the HFD family, in his day a 500 man department. He was also proud to be recently honored with a scholarship in his name, the Edward J. Skehan P&F Association College Scholarship. Yet, despite all his achievements, Ed was a quiet and humble man who rarely sought attention. He quietly went about his day supporting many charities and reading anything that crossed his threshold. He read up to 4 newspapers daily, and was amazed at the changes in society and advanced technology. He loved visits from his grandchildren and great grandchildren, and absolutely cherished his nearly 80 year courtship with his beloved Peggy. Besides his parents and wife Peggy, Ed was predeceased by his 2 brothers, Phillip and Richard. Ed is survived by his 8 children, Gail Rocheleau, Edward J. Skehan Jr., Gary Skehan, Bruce Skehan, Gwynne Skehan, Brian Skehan, Patrica Niederhauser, and Kathleen Payanis. He was blessed with loving sons/daughters in-law, Roger, Sue, Kim, Susan, Peter, Glenn, and Anja, as well as an amazing number of Granddaughters, Grandsons, and Great Grandchildren to proudly continue his legacy. Also, his sister in law, Irene Casey Lopata. A very special thank-you to his dear friends, who were like family to him, Beverley M., Anne and Stan Sullivan, and Debbie and Joe Cirigliano who provided Ed with hours of friendship, love, tender loving care, and delicious meals. Burial will be private with a celebration of his life to be celebrated at a later time. The Farley-Sullivan Funeral Home, Wethersfield CT, is in charge of arrangements. Donations in Ed’s memory may be made to the Holy Family Monastery and Retreat Center, 301 Tunxis Rd., West Hartford CT, or the recently established “Edward J. Skehan P&F Association College Scholarship” c/o Hartford Police Credit Union, Account 3941, 253 High ST, Hartford CT, 06103, which benefits the children of Hartford Firemen. Dad was truly a member of the Greatest Generation. His family will forever mourn the loss of this great man, but we were so very blessed to share so many years, memories, holidays and family gatherings with both of our parents.


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