Daniel “Mike” Skelly, age 89, of Grand Rapids, passed away peacefully at Majestic Pines in Grand Rapids, November 16, 2019 surrounded by his family. Mike was born October 19, 1930 in Cohasset, MN to Eva (Beckley) and Leon Skelly. At the age of 17 he and his brother Pat traveled to Alaska to work on the Alaskan Railroad. While there, Mike met Verdean Pollock from Tropic, Utah and the two married November 19, 1950 while still in Anchorage, Alaska. “I went looking for a job in Alaska Mike said; I was there for a year and a half, then came home for one day. I went back to Alaska and married a very nice-looking girl by the name of Verdean.” Mike and Verdean returned to Minnesota and raised their family in Coleraine. Mike was a talented carpenter by trade and entered into the roofing business with his brothers Bill and George. The brothers owned and operated Nelson roofing in and around Grand Rapids for more than 30 years. The year 1973 brought change for Mike and Verdean as the couple began building their beloved lake home in Lawrence Lake, MN. Upon the completion of their home, the couple enjoyed gardening and hosting friends and family. He is the loving and devoted father of Barbara, Raymond, Sandy, Debra, and Patricia. Mike was a dedicated father and husband. He treasured his family and embraced every moment with them. He had a vivacious personality, loved jokes and he enjoyed making the people around him laugh. Mike made friends wherever he went, and he will be deeply missed by all who knew him.
Mike lost his “very nice-looking girl” Verdean, in 2004. He was also preceded in death by his parents; sisters, Betty (Albert) Julien, and Katy (Dale) Hirt; brothers, William (Shirley) and Patrick (Diane); daughters, Barbara Peterson, and Debra Skelly-Utech; son, Raymond (Mary) and one grandson, Brandon Skelly. Mike is survived by two daughters, Sandy (Rick) Hansen and Patricia Skelly; sister, Margaret (Chuck) Olson; brothers, George (Heloise) Skelly, Larry (Marvine) Skelly; grandchildren, Jason (Christy) Helmer, Michael (Jennifer) Hansen, Kari (Nate) Broughton, Jeremy (Jessica) Jetland, and Emily (Nick) Rothstein, 7 great-grandchildren, 1 great great-grandchild, several nieces and nephews, his devoted companion and friend Florine Lutterman, beloved extended family Jeff Jetland, and close friends, Jackie Haggard, Markie Payment and Pat Buckley. Mike is survived by many other relatives and beloved friends. The family requests in lieu of flowers, donations be made to Essentia Health Hospice. A private family graveside service and inurnment will take place in the spring of 2020.