Thousands of people filled Grondyke Hall, at Wentworth Military Academy, to pay tribute to Ike Skelton. He was born in 1931 in Lexington, and attended Wentworth for Junior College from 1949 to 1951. Congressman Emanuel Cleaver, who was a close friend, delivered the eulogy.
“Here at Issac Newton Skelton’s beloved Wentworth Academy, in this quiet and historic hall, Missouri and the Nation, have come to pay respects to the Gentleman from Lexington,” said Cleaver.
Skelton was elected to the Missouri State Senate in 1970, and moved on to the U.S. House of Representatives in 1976, where he served on, and eventually charied the House Armed Services Committee. Cleaver called him one of the military’s most-trusted civilians. Skelton would regularly hold conversations with top leaders from around the world.
“And yet, he was so approachable, that walk with him, through the Capital, would result in stops every few feet by admirers from the Capital Police, to House staff, to news reporters.”
Skelton retained close ties to the Lexington community. “Lexington was the love center of Ike’s life. And it is therefore proper and prudent that we gather here in Lexington to join his family in the celebration of his simple but titanic time on earth.”
Skelton passed away Monday, October 28th, at the age of 81. He was buried in Machpelah Cemetery. He is survived by his second wife, Patty, three sons with his first wife, Susie, and five grandchildren.