Frank “Merle” Skinner, 78, White Eagle, “NAKYENAKAY” of Fort Belknap and Butte died Saturday, May 5, 2007 of natural causes at a long term care facility in Butte.
A wake is scheduled for 7 p.m. Tuesday, May 8, 2007 at the St. P a u l ’ s M i s s i o n Recreation Center, and the Funeral Mass will be 11 a.m. Wednesday May 9, 2007 at the St. P a u l ’ s M i s s i o n Church with Father Joe Retzel, S.J. officiating. The Committal Rite will be at the Colliflower Family Cemetery, with Veterans honors by the Ft. Belknap Warrior Society. Merle was born Jan. 23, 1928 to Arthur and Clara (Bad Road) Skinner in Hays. He attended the Mission School through high school. He enlisted in the Army in February 1946. He served as a Light Weapons Assault Crewman and achieved the Rank of Sergeant. He received the WWII Victory Medal and the Army Occupation Medal while serving in the Pacific Theatre of operations. He married Caroline Nez Perce and to this union two children were born. The couple later divorced. He later married Carolyn Kipp on Feb. 27, 1985 in Bozeman. This marriage was blessed at St. Joseph Catholic Church in 1999. The couple raised and later adopted their granddaughter. Merle was a long time rodeo cowboy and ranch hand in the Blaine and Phillips County area. He love to Rodeo and did so up until just a couple of years ago when he participated in the “Old Timers Bustout”. Merle was preceded in death by his parents Arthur and Clara Skinner; four sisters, Hazel Skinner Vandall, Madeline Skinner Colliflower, Alma Skinner Brockie, and Florence Skinner Stiffarm; and former Spouse Caroline Nez Perce Skinner. He is survived by so, Francis (J’Shon) Skinner of Ft. Belknap; and daughters, Cheryl (Doug) Schmitt of Salem, Ore., and Carolyn (Josh) Horn of Butte; 11 grandchildren and five greatgrandchildren. Services are under the direction of Edward’s Funeral Home of Chinook.