David H. Skinner

David H. Skinner

June 14, 1946 - July 30, 2014

David H. Skinner

June 14, 1946 - July 30, 2014


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.

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11 responses to David H. Skinner

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  1. We are shocked and very saddened to hear of Dave’s passing. We will miss his presence at the Class of 1973 reunions. We will always remember our running in to him in Barbados in February of 1974 and enjoying the jug of rum which was subsequently dropped that night and broken. He was the quiet one in the corner with welcomed laughs that we enjoyed. Our thoughts are with you all at this sad time. Fred and Judy Carpenter, Truro, NS

  2. Steve Geidt says:

    Brenda, Jon, Jeff, Megan, Ryan and the entire Skinner family:

    If I have taken anything away from reflecting on what Dave has meant to me, it’s appreciating that every single day is a gift . . . and how blessed I have been to have had over 3 decades worth of these gifts with Dave in my life at Saddleback Memorial. I know I speak for many in this regard. This place is special because there are so many special people in it . . . and then there are some that are extra-special. It’s hard to perfectly define “extra-special”, but it perfectly defined Dave. He left an indelible mark of professionalism and kindness that will be his lasting legacy. My thoughts and prayers continue with you all.

    Steve Geidt

  3. Dave was one of the stalwarts in our Dalhousie University Medical Class of 1973 and I was shocked to hear of his death. I appreciated his no-nonsense, can-do attitude, sense of humor, and his participation at our class reunions. Dave, we will miss you!
    Brenda and family, my thoughts are with you in this time of sorrow.
    Sylvia Simpson, Tucson, AZ

  4. David Young says:

    We were shocked and saddened to learn of Dave’s passing! Dave was an ever present and steady ’73 classmate and attendee at reunions. His thoughtful presentation at Saint Andrew’s-by-the-Sea comes to mind. Our sincere condolences to Brenda and family. He will be remembered……….Dave and Shirlene Young

  5. David’s sister Suzanne was my best friend in High School and I practically lived at their home. David was so kind to me, and I like most of the girls at school had a little crush on him. He was the most generous, charming gentleman we had ever met in our young lives. Definitely a role model to aspire to in our future. What a loss for his family too soon; but I know he gave you more in his short time than some people could in twice the time. I am so sorry for your loss…..Linda (Campbell) Peterson, Myrtle Beach, SC

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