Lucille Middleton McPherson Skellie

November 23, 1923 ~ March 12, 2021

Born in: Peoria, IL
Resided in: Decatur, GA

Lucille Middleton McPherson Skellie, 97, of Decatur, GA, passed away at home on March 12, 2021. She was preceded in death by Fred A. Skellie Jr, her beloved husband of 70 years.

Born in Peoria, IL, Lucille lived in 23 cities before she was 19 because her father worked as a troubleshooter for Goodyear. She enjoyed childhood adventures with her older siblings Edwin and Lillian Anne. At age 14, she met Fred,17, at Long Beach High School on the Mississippi Gulf Coast, when a typical date was a nickel Coca-Cola and a stroll along the seawall by the beach. “I was a cheap date!” Lucille liked to announce. They were married at St. Peter’s-by-the-Sea Episcopal Church in Gulfport, MS on March 29,1943.

Lucille with her parents and older siblings Edwin and Lillian Anne

During WWII, while Fred served as a navigator aboard the destroyer USS Rodman, Lucille worked numerous temporary jobs. Whenever she learned that he was returning to a port, she would quit her job and travel to meet him. After the war, Fred qualified as a Certified Public Accountant and began working for Rich’s Department Store in Atlanta, GA. Lucille and Fred settled in nearby Decatur, where they lived for the rest of their lives. A devoted couple, their loving marriage set a wonderful example for their three children.

Lucille loved to laugh and nicknamed herself Lu “Silly.” She leaves a legacy of kindness, humor, encouragement, and hospitality. She loved her family and friends, and had a knack for welcoming children into their home. When she played with her children or grandchildren, her joy and unexpected sense of fun kicked in. On rainy days, she might assign her children activity choices: yellow rain slickers for mud puddle splashing or roller skates for circling the basement. Whenever she and Fred played hide and seek with their granddaughters, or she baked an alligator birthday cake for her 4-year-old grandson🐊, giggles of delight followed.

Employing her renowned green thumb, Lucille created azalea-filled gardens and thriving indoor plants. She sewed fashionable clothes for her daughter’s dolls, attended her sons’ ballgames, played the piano for her children as they fell asleep (just as her Mama had), dabbled in water colors, and golfed with Fred. Additionally, she kept up with current events by reading both Atlanta newspapers cover to cover each day.

Lucille and Fred loved dancing to big-band swing music, enjoying shrimp creole, most anything to do with boating, watching birds perch on the feeder near their kitchen window, and walking at least one mile nearly every day. They excelled at hosting large parties, bringing family and friends together.

“She was my ‘second mother,’ and never seemed flustered,” her daughter-in-law said.

“She was a thoughtful and adaptable hostess,” her son explained, “preparing vegetarian or heart-healthy meals, according to her guest list.”

Besides entertaining in Decatur, Lucille and Fred created memories in their mountain home on Lake Blue Ridge. While Fred patiently helped guests learn how to ski, Lucille might explore Toccoa Cove in “Lu Lu” the canoe. Or, she might bake a cobbler from freshly picked blackberries, and top each serving with Fred’s favorite ice cream. When Fred retired and opened his own tax consulting and estate planning business, Lucille worked with him preparing tax returns so they could travel the world during the off season. They also enjoyed road trips across the United States and decades of family reunions on the Gulf Coast.

Lucille and Fred were longtime, active members of Druid Hills United Methodist Church, serving on numerous committees. Lucille volunteered for the American Red Cross, was a member of the Rhododendron Club, the Heaton Park Garden Club, and numerous bridge clubs.

Lucille is survived by two sons, Bert Skellie (Karen), and Don Skellie (Elizabeth); a daughter, Nancy Gerhardt (Gary, deceased); 8 grandchildren and 9 great- grandchildren; generations of nieces, nephews, and cousins; and lifelong friend Carol Mitchell.

Memorial contributions may be made to Neighborhood Church (includes former Druid Hills UMC) or to the charity of your choice.

Online condolences may be expressed here below or at

The family thanks the extraordinary caregivers at King’sBridge Assisted Living Community and the exceptional medical team and staff at Longleaf Hospice.



19:50:43 From Tovah Melaver to Everyone:
My love and thoughts of comfort to all of the Skellies and all those mourning the loss of Lucille. May her memory always be a blessing. Tovah

19:51:32 From Lucy Pribyl’s to Everyone:
We love y’all!!! Martha and Lucy Randall

19:51:48 From Deborah Keeling to Everyone:
Love you all. Will miss Aunt Lucille. You are all in our hearts and prayers today.

19:53:14 From Rex Kaney to Everyone:
Lucille and Fred were the first folks to greet me when I came to Druid Hills UMC in August 1989. What a wonderful, loving woman who I always have loved. Janie Kaney

19:53:28 From Shirley to Everyone:
Such a sweet service honoring a sweet lady! I have wonderful memories of your family. Love to you Nancy, Bert, & Don! Shirley Manning Rayburn

19:54:43 From Bill Choate to Everyone:
Bill and I send our love to all of you. We celebrate Lucille’s life with all of you. Lilabet and Bill Choate

19:55:12 From Carol Morgan to Everyone:
What a lovely service and beautiful tributes to a special person!

19:56:30 From Julia to Everyone:
Lucille was so wonderful. So is her family! Julie Woodall

19:58:42 From Aaron Ruscetta to Everyone:
Wonderful service, Bert. Thankful to have been welcomed and get a chance to meet some of your marvelous family.

19:59:29 From Lucy Pribyl’s to Everyone:
So great to see everyone! Aunt Lucille was always such a joy to be around!!!

19:59:31 From Deborah Keeling to Everyone:
Love to everyone from Deb and Terry Hope to see you soon.

19:59:31 From Aaron Ruscetta to Everyone:
Peace and love to all.

20:00:00 From David Miller to Everyone:
much love to you all. Aunt Lucille was a truly lovely person. Thank you for sharing her life with us.

20:01:54 From John Moses to Everyone:
Love all of you.

20:02:15 From to Everyone:
Very special and well done. Our mother, her sister, would have been very happy (is very happy). She was my second mother (and I was her first baby). She even tried to make me guess whether it was my mother or her on the tapes sent to me in Vietnam. Enjoyed seeing everyone.

20:02:57 From Dave Herrington to Everyone:
May God bless Aunt Lucille and all of you. You are all in our hearts. Thanks for sharing this with us. Dave & Renée

20:05:02 From Carol Morgan to Everyone:
Such an honor to be part of this service. I will miss my visits with Lucille! Her spirit continues to shine in her wonderful family.

20:08:02 From Clive Gordon:
Thanks Bert and family

20:10:00 From wespm :
Thank you for inviting us to this lovely service in honor of Lucille. We love you all!

20:12:35 From Richard to Everyone:
Aunt Lucille was the sweetest of all human beings on earth. We loved her very much and she will be so missed. Love to you all.

20:12:40 From Carol & Sue Mitchell to Everyone:
We really enjoyed seeing everyone and feel like part of the family!! Wonderful service! Love you all!!

20:20:27 From Lynn Leuszler to Everyone:
Lovely Lady! Thank you for sharing this occasion with us. Holding her Spirit in the Light.

20:21:39 From Carol Morgan to Everyone:
Love to everyone!






2 responses to “Lucille Middleton McPherson Skellie”

  1. brnskll Avatar

    Memorial service today May 1st at 1PM EST online via Zoom.
    For more information to attend, contact
    Brian Skellie or Bob Lough

  2. Eva Skellie Avatar
    Eva Skellie

    Ode to Granny

    The sweetest of sensibilities
    Yet a will seeming of steel
    Laid behind
    Playful eyes
    And mischievous smiles

    My memories hold
    Garden visions and
    Magnolia blooms.
    Feelings in my fingers – of
    Squishing clay and
    Playing cards.
    A scent only known
    as Granny’s perfume.

    I can hear
    her happy hello
    On the other end of the line.
    And the grandfather clock
    Ticking towards its last time
    One last question
    Before the midnight toll

    I hear him softly
    “Ready, Lucille?”
    And she, abundantly
    “Ready, Freddie.”

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