Rufus (R.W.) Walker Skiles, Jr. was born in Stephenville, Texas, on May 7, 1935, and passed away in Keene, Texas, on May 20, 2021, surrounded by his family.
Graveside services will be held at 11 a.m. Wednesday, May 26, 2021, at Johnson Cemetery in Stephenville. Visitation is from 6-8 p.m. Tuesday, May 25, at Mountain Valley Funeral Home.
R.W. retired from Bell Helicopter in 1997 after 31 years of service. He rarely ever worked just 40 hours in a week. He was known for working all the overtime he could get.
He learned his work ethic at a young age by helping his parents with farming in the Stephenville area. R.W. started his adult life by serving in the U.S. Army during the Korean War. When he returned to the States he worked for Wolf Nursery and then landscaping on his own.
After he went to work for Bell he kept a landscaping business on the side “just in case he got laid off.” His family has memories of his wife Gail leaving work, picking up the kids and meeting R.W. to help him with landscaping. They family also worked together “hauling hay” before their summer vacation. These are now fond memories of his children, but not then.
R.W. raised Angus cattle for many years. Later he cut back to just a hay business. The best part of the hay business was visiting with his customers.
R.W., his wife Gail and children were longtime residents of Burleson, Texas, until R.W. and Gail retired to Joshua, Texas, in 1997.
In February of this year, R.W. moved to Chisholm Trail Estates in Keene. His nurses loved him but said he could be a “stinker.” He spent some restless nights with a set of keys that didn't open anything, going around to every door, trying every key to “try to get out of this place.”
At the end, every nurse treating R.W. touched him so gently and kissed his head. His family is so grateful to these ladies for their loving care.
R.W. is survived by his wife of 63 years, Gail; daughter, Janet Ellis (David); son, Jeff Skiles (Debbie); grandchildren, Eric Skiles (Amanda) and Jordan Badding (Michael); great-grandchildren, Olivia Skiles and Harper Badding; brother, Gene Skiles (Roberta); and nieces and nephews.