Edwin Walter Skinner
January 12, 2015
Edwin Walter Skinner
Edwin Walter Skinner, 78, passed away January 12, 2015. He was born February 9, 1936 in Des Moines to Robert and Vesta (Patterson) Skinner. He married Lois J. Bumann of Ida Grove, IA July 8, 1962. They have three children, Geri Huser (husband Dan), Julie Stewart (husband Mark) and Robert Bradley Skinner (wife Chaille); and grandchildren, Kelli Huser, Blake Huser, Morgan Stewart, Addison Stewart, Evan Stewart, Jude Skinner, Cole Skinner and Chase Skinner. He has one brother, Robert Alden Skinner (wife Donna). Their children are Kyle Skinner, Troy Skinner and Darcee Skinner.
Ed was raised on a dairy farm and was responsible for completing his farming tasks prior to being allowed to play football and basketball at Runnells High School. Many a day was started before 4:00 a.m. in order to complete his chores. This regime instilled in Ed a work ethic that we see today in his law practice and that is expected in his family. At home Ed enjoyed being with his family and planned many memorable trips for them.
Ed graduated from Runnells Consolidated High School in 1954. He attended Drake University, receiving his Bachelor of Science Degree from Drake University in 1960 and also being accepted into membership to Beta Beta Beta Biological Society. In 1963 he graduated from Drake University Law School. In 1968 he received his Juris Doctorate from Drake University Law School.
Ed clerked with Altoona attorney James P. Irish, his mentor, before his graduation from law school. He practiced law in Altoona in 1963 until present. He proudly served as City Attorney for the Cities of Runnells, Altoona, Pleasant Hill, and Cumming.
He was supportive of his profession and was a member of the Polk County Bar Association, Iowa State Bar Association, American Bar Association, Iowa Trial Lawyers Association, and American Association for Justice.
From 1968 through 1972, Ed served as State Representative in the 63rd and 64th General Assemblies. He was instrumental in passing the City Home Rule. Other significant work for him in the legislature included the Bertrand Historical Site and the study for the formation of Living History Farms.
Ed served as a Member of the Democratic State Central Committee, and as State Treasurer for the State Democratic Party. He originally incorporated and worked to organize the Pony Express Riders to benefit Camp Sunnyside. Ed assisted in the initial organization of the Altoona Chamber of Commerce.
In 1984 Citizens for Progress through Racing was organized to support a horse racing facility in this area. Ed was chairperson of this organization which resulted in Prairie Meadows. He oversaw the construction of the original Prairie Meadows and served on the Board of Directors of the Racing Association of Central Iowa.
In 1984, Ed along with three other individuals started the Southeast Polk Scholarship Fund which continues today through the Southeast Polk Dollars for Scholars. In memory of his former law partner, The James P. Irish Law Scholarship for Drake University Law School was started. He along with his good friend, Mike Horton, were instrumental in ensuring the continuation of the Vocational- Technical Exposition started at Southeast Polk. It continues to this day. Ed served on the Southeast Polk School District Board of Directors as did his grandmother, his father, and his son.
Ed spearheaded the establishment of East Polk Regional Development, East Pointe Business Park, Industrial Rail Spur, Elevator and Rail Spur In Pleasant Hill, Mid American Standby Diesel Project in Pleasant Hill, Altoona Crossing Business Center, Copper Creek in Pleasant Hill, Rising Sun Development in Pleasant Hill, Four Mile Development, Arbor Ridge Development in Bondurant, Deer Creek Estates in Ankeny, and Country Club Crossing in Altoona. Ed was also involved in the Highway 65/5 Bypass, Iowa Cold Storage, Ryder Truck, Detroit Diesel, Merchants Transport and Storage, and Iowa Donor Network.
Cultural and Benevolent Memberships he had been involved in were, Altoona Lions Club, East Polk Rotary, Altoona Chamber of Commerce, Pleasant Hill Chamber of Commerce, King David Lodge, ZaGaZig Shrine, Scottish Rite, and York Rite of Free Masonry. Ed served on the Board of Directors of the following: Keep Iowa Beautiful, Valley Bank, Iowans Supporting Israel, Southeast Polk Schools, Racing Association of Central Iowa, Grants Committee for Prairie Meadows, Hospice of Central Iowa and Terrace Hill Foundation.
Ed received honors from the following organizations: Keep Iowa Beautiful, Polk County Democrats, Iowa State Bar Association, King David Lodge, Prairie Meadows, Altoona Chamber of Commerce, Pleasant Hill Chamber of Commerce, Southeast Polk Schools Hall of Honor, Southeast Polk Dollars for Scholars, Lions Club International, Rotary Club Foundation, and Future Farmers Association.
Services will be held at 10 a.m., on Saturday, January 17, 2015, at Lutheran Church of the Cross, 1701 8th Street Southwest, Altoona with burial to follow at Lowman Cemetery in Runnells. The family will receive visitors Friday evening from 4 to 7 p.m., at the church.
Memorial Contributions may be made to Southeast Polk Dollars for Scholars, or to an organization of the donor’s choice, in loving memory of Ed.
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