Skip Echelberger of Shelburne, Vt. and Naples, Fla., passed away on April 11, 2017. He was born in Buffalo, N.Y. on Jan. 6, 1938, the son of Arthur D. Echelberger and Lenore D. Echelberger. The family moved to Maywood, Ill. in 1948 where Skip graduated from Proviso East High School in 1955. Shortly after, he entered the Air Force, serving in Germany as a radio operator intercepting Russian communications. After leaving the Air Force, Skip returned to his home state of Illinois and enrolled at Northern Illinois University before transferring to Southern Illinois University where he graduated in 1966, receiving his bachelor’s degree in sociology and his Master of Science in Forestry Recreation. While attending SIU, Skip met Patricia A. Church, who became his lifelong partner and wife.
Chickie and Skip were married in 1964 while still both finishing their educations in Carbondale at SIU. Skip and Chickie moved to Syracuse, N.Y. in 1966 and Skip continued his career as a research scientist in forestry, working for the U.S. Forest Service, and enjoyed an affiliation with Syracuse University. Skip received his Ph.D. in Resource Management from SUNY in 1976. Meanwhile, Skip and Chickie started their family, with Julia M. born in 1967 and Bradley S. born in 1969.
Skip was transferred to the U.S. Forestry Lab in Durham, N.H., affiliated with the UNH campus there in 1978, and worked and lived there till 1982. He was then transferred to the George D. Aiken Maple Sugar Lab to serve as Chief of Lab in South Burlington, Vt. He retired from the Forest Service in 1997. His retirement years were filled with sailing on Lake Champlain, singing in the Shelburne Methodist Church, playing volleyball with Shelburne friends, traveling with Chickie all over the world, and winters in Fort Myers and Naples, Fla.
Skip is survived by his wife of 53 years, Chickie, his daughter Julia and son Bradley, and their spouses, Scott Austin and Kathi Echelberger. He is also survived by his sister Frances Schlobohm and his brother Donald Echelberger. Skip loved and thoroughly enjoyed his six grandchildren: Thomas, Jessica, Caleb, Aimeé, Michelle, and Lauren who all survive him. He is also survived by many cousins, nieces, and nephews all over the country.
Skip had a zest for life, a positive outlook, and a sense of humor that everyone appreciated and enjoyed. He loved so many things in life: sailing on his boat with friends, his kids and grandkids, singing in the choir at the Shelburne United Methodist Church, playing volleyball, walking the beaches of Florida with Chickie, bicycling, kayaking. He was a member of LCYC since 1991 and served on the Board of Directors from 1997 to 2000 and was recognized by his “pink hat” while sailing Coquet. Skip was active in his community in Shelburne as well as his community in Naples, Fla.
He had his last best days enjoying friends and golf in Naples. There he passed away unexpectedly and will always be remembered and loved by many.
For those of Skip’s lifelong friends or family who would like to remember him, his family asks that a donation to the Shelburne United Methodist Church be made in his memory to P.O. Box 365, Shelburne, Vt. 05482 or to the charity of your choice. A memorial service is scheduled at the Shelburne United Methodist Church for Saturday, May 6 at 1pm.