U.S. Army SFC (Ret.) Frankey Skipper passed away peacefully at his home on Sunday, June 4th, surrounded by loved ones after a courageous battle with pancreatic cancer.
Frankey is preceded in death by his parents, Jeff Daniel and Juanita Skipper; brother, Jeff Skipper, Jr. Many others go unmentioned but are now reunited.
Frankey is survived by those closest to his heart, his devoted wife, Nieves Skipper and their son, Ryan (Tina) Skipper of Orlando; son, Jeff (Marnie) Skipper of Panama City; five grandchildren, Ed, “Skip,”and Jordan of Panama City, Logan, Ethan and Ava of Orlando; brother, Sammy (Kyoung) Skipper of Ormond Beach; sister, Anne (George) Betancourt of Quincy; as well as special niece and nephew, Kerrie and Jeremy Harrell of Marianna; grandnephew, Jaxson and grandniece, Mackenzie; closest cousins, Patricia (Charles) Conway of Daytona Beach.
He loved his family, his country, his community, and his Savior, our Lord Jesus Christ. He was of the Baptist faith but attended St. Anne’s Catholic Church along with his wife. For nearly four years he gave back to the community by his volunteer service in operating the Food Bank at the Catholic Church. Those in the community may remember Frankey from the years that he and his wife supplied the community with a celebrated line of dachshunds, goats, and a freshwater fishing experience on their property near Kynesville. He served 22 years in the U.S. Army where he proudly served his country. He was assigned to the 1st Special Forces Group, as well as the 3rd and 6th Groups. He served four year-long tours of Vietnam/Southeast Asia. During his career, he was assigned to 319th Field Artillery Regiment, the 173rd Airborne Brigade, Company F Co. 51st Infantry Corps USARPAC long range patrol; and to the 75th Ranger Regiment (Airborne). During his Ranger assignment he trained and was back-up for Operation Eagle Claw charged with the attempted rescue of the Iran hostages in 1999.
Career accomplishments include completion of the U.S. Army Ranger combat leadership and U.S. Army Airborne schools at Ft. Benning, GA, earning the silver wings parachute badge. Airborne training included desert survival training, ski school in Japan, and survival escape and evasion. Awards include National Defense Service Medal, Army Commendation Medal, Overseas Service Bar, and Army Service Ribbon, National Defense Service Medal, Vietnam Service Medal, Republic of Vietnam Campaign Medal, Republic of Vietnam Gallantry Cross Unit Citation Badge with Palm, Six Army Good Conduct Medals, Jungle Expert Badge, Sharpshooter and Expert Rifle Badges.
The family will received friends at James & Sikes Funeral Home Maddox Chapel in Marianna on Friday, June 9th, 2017, from 6 PM to 8 PM. Services will be held at St. Anne Catholic Church in Marianna on Saturday, June 10th, 2017 at 11 AM with Father Will Ganci officiating. Interment will follow in Riverside Cemetery, Marianna with full Military Honors.