Obituary: Sharon Margaret May Skowronek

Sharon Margaret May Skowronek of Prescott Valley, Arizona, passed away peacefully at the age of 83 at Yavapai Regional Medical Center in Prescott Valley, Arizona, the morning of May 8, 2022. She was surrounded by family, in the knowledge that she was dearly loved.

She is survived by her husband Chuck Skowronek, her children Dan Skowronek and Amy Forinash, her daughter-in-law Lynne Skowronek, her son-in-law John Forinash, and her grandchildren Sandy Skowronek, Ian Skowronek, and Logan Skowronek. She is also survived by her sister Sheryl Anderson. She was predeceased by her brothers Gordon May and Roger May.

Sharon was born in Royal Oak, Michigan on March 18, 1939 to Esther and Vivian May. Her early life was spent in Michigan, where she was graduated at the top of her class in high school. She attended Central Michigan University for her undergraduate degree, and then worked toward a graduate degree in sociology at Penn State University. After raising her children, she resumed her education and earned a graduate degree in social work at the University of Maryland at Baltimore. Although she did not work formally as a social worker following graduation, her skills and knowledge were used constantly throughout her life. Her empathy for others led her to become involved in the lives of many in need.

She took a leading role in nearly every community and organization she joined. She was president of the PTA at her children’s elementary school, leader of the local civic association, and president of her HOA. She campaigned for civil rights for decades, including marching for women’s rights even as she began to need assistance in walking. She was a strong advocate for the downtrodden, and taught her children to respect the rights of all. She was a Cub Scout leader and a Camp Fire leader, learning outdoor skills and then teaching them to others. Her love of the outdoors took firm root in her daughter, who went on to become a long-distance hiker. Her love of music went awry, as her complete lack of ability to carry a tune caused her teach all of the children to sing songs which were unrecognizable to the rest of the community.

In her early childhood, she lived in a small one-room cabin in back woods Michigan. Her vivid memories of that time recalled a building with no electricity, a wood stove for heat, and complete lack of plumbing, including not even an outhouse. The family made do with a log over a ravine until Gordon and Roger built an outhouse nearby. Her father later built a large house on their 280 acres of land outside of Central Lake, Michigan, for which he had traded a 1942 DeSoto. This house also did not originally have indoor plumbing. Plumbing was installed in advance of Sharon’s wedding to Chuck in 1962. The family kept the outhouses available in case of crowds.

As an adult, Sharon lived in Camp Springs, Maryland; Minnetonka, Minnesota; and Prescott Valley, Arizona. She loved to collect art, books, and antiques, which she proudly displayed in her home. Her annual display of crystal Christmas trees was legendary, and took several days to set up. In her final residence in Prescott Valley, she showed off the results of decades worth of yard sailing, in the form of unique teapots, glassware, and other indescribable items of folk art. Her family was her pride and joy, and photos of her children and grandchildren were always prominently placed where she could see them often. Her husband, Chuck, was the love of her life. They would have celebrated 60 years of marriage this fall. The family requests that in lieu of flowers, donations be made in Sharon’s name to the charity of your choice. A celebration of life will be held from noon to 2 p.m. on Saturday, June 11, 2022, at The Event Spot in Prescott Valley.

Information provided by the family.

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