Dr. David Harold Skinner, 68, passed away at his home surrounded by his family on July 30, 2014, following a battle with cancer. He was born on June 14, 1946, in Arthurette, New Brunswick, Canada. He was the first person in his family to attend college, graduating from Mount Allison University in Sackville, New Brunswick, in 1968, where he played on the varsity basketball team. After graduation, he enrolled in medical school at Dalhousie University in Halifax, Nova Scotia, where he met Brenda McLean, whom he would marry on February 5, 1977. After graduating with his M.D. in 1973, Dr. Skinner began practicing emergency medicine and family medicine in Presque Isle, Maine. While living in Presque Isle, he played competitive amateur baseball and helped lead his Arthurette-based team to the Maritime Championship in 1979. In 1980, Dr. Skinner and his young family moved to Southern California, where he graduated from U.C. Irvine’s critical care and anesthesia program in 1983. He began his medical practice at Saddleback Hospital in 1984, where he remained until just weeks before his death. Dr. Skinner was a resident of Laguna Hills for nearly 30 years, until December 2013, when he moved to San Juan Capistrano.
In the course of his 30-year career as an anesthesiologist at Saddleback Hospital, Dr. Skinner served as Chief of Staff; a member of the Saddleback Memorial Medical Center Board of Directors; director of perioperative services; and medical director of the surgical center. He was a consummate professional and gentleman, and a selfless man. He was soft-spoken by nature, yet his voice was heard above others out of respect for his integrity and strength of character.
In his free time, Dr. Skinner enjoyed spending time with his family and friends, playing basketball, and, more recently, improving his long-neglected golf game. He coached NJB basketball and Little League baseball teams in Laguna Hills for many years, and made regular trips back to Arthurette to work on the Christmas tree farm and maple syrup business he owned with his brother. He also greatly enjoyed yearly post-Christmas family trips to Las Vegas with the Fakoory family.
Dr. Skinner was preceded in death by his parents, Harold and Melissa, and his younger sister, Janice; and is survived by his wife of 37 years, Brenda; children Jon (Sarah), Jeff (Jessica), Megan, and Ryan; grandchildren Lindsay, Jackson, and Benjamin; brother Peter (Wendy); and sisters Suzanne (Mark Jobin), Sandra Tremblay (Glen), and Jennifer Sappier (Roland); and many loving nieces, nephews, and extended family. His family and all who knew him will miss his enormous personality, easy laughter, and generous spirit.
The Skinner family will be planning a private service in September in Canada. His family would like to express their gratitude for the Celebration of Life held at Saddleback Hospital on July 18, during which Dr. Skinner and his leadership, legacy, and life of service were honored by many. The family would also like to thank the nurses of Hospice of Saddleback Valley for their loving care and support in the final days of Dr. Skinner’s life. Also, heartfelt thanks to all for the love and support extended to our family these past weeks.
In lieu of flowers, the Skinner family requests that donations in Dr. Skinner’s honor be made to the Saddleback Memorial Foundation
24451 Health Center Drive
Laguna Hills, CA 92653
The Skinner family requests that there be NO flowers or memorial gifts sent.