Gothenburg Resident: Dr. Morris Skinner Jr (1933-2017)
Dr. Morris F “Fritz” Skinner Jr, 83, of Gothenburg, Nebraska, died unexpectedly February 4th, 2017 in Callaway, Nebraska.
Fritz was born May 6th, 1933 in Ainsworth Nebraska to Morris and Marie Skinner. As Morris Sr was employed as a paleontologist for Childs Frick of the American Museum of Natural History in New York City, Fritz’ upbringing was unique. The family spent many weekends and long summer hours at dig sites across the Dakotas, Nebraska, Wyoming, and other states. Fritz and his sister Barbara attended school in Ainsworth each year until late fall, when the whole family would move to New York City. Morris and Marie completed their cataloguing and research at the American Museum of Natural History while Barb and Fritz attended New York public school in Manhattan. In the spring, the family would move back to Nebraska where Morris and Marie would resume their work in the field and the children would return to the Ainsworth school system.
Fritz graduated from Ainsworth High School in 1951, University of Nebraska at Lincoln in 1954, and University of Nebraska Medical Center in 1958, when polio was still a major concern and the iron lung was still in common use. His internship and general practice residency were completed in San Bernardino, California. He entered the Navy in 1961, and completed his orthopedic residency at the Naval Hospitals in Bethesda Maryland and Grand Rapids, Michigan. His military career included service on the USS Oklahoma City, in Vietnam (1968-1969), and at the Naval Hospitals at Camp Pendleton and Oakland, California, achieving the rank of Commander.
Following discharge, the majority of his orthopedic career was spent in private practice in San Clemente, Mission Viejo, and San Diego, California. Among other achievements, he was one of the first surgeons to successfully complete the reimplantation of a traumatically severed forearm. He retired and moved back to Nebraska in 1998 where he continued a conservative non-operative orthopedic practice in Ainsworth, and performed Disability Determination Examinations through the Bainbridge Orthopedic Clinic in Grand Island.
He married Carol Friedman in 1966, and they had one son, Robert. After Fritz moved to Nebraska, he met and married Dr. Carol Shackleton in 2004 and resided in Gothenburg. Over the years, he has been very active in various orthopedic associations, Lions Club, Rotary, and the American Medical Association. He adored camping, and spent many memorable trips with his son to the Mexican Baja, and with Dr. Carol in their 5th wheel traveling from Mississippi to Montana, Minnesota to Texas, Kentucky to California. In addition, they took trips to Costa Rica, Alaska, Hawaii, and Europe and made numerous trips to the lake cabin in Minnesota. His other passion was horses, riding for pleasure in California and participating in team penning rodeo activities in Ainsworth. He freely shared his love of paleontology, geology and orthopedics with friends old and new.
He is survived by his wife Dr. Carol, son Robert (Meghan) Skinner, 3 grandchildren (Natalie, Amanda and Koby Skinner), sister Barbara Lamb, niece Marcia (Ed) Dawson, nephew Tom Lamb and a multitude of grateful patients.
He was preceded in death by his parents, Morris and Marie, and one niece, Theresa Lamb.
Book signing will be held on Friday, February 10th, 2017 from 9:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. at Blase-Strauser Memorial Chapel, 620 10th Street, Gothenburg, Nebraska.
Services are scheduled at the First Presbyterian Church of Gothenburg at 11:00 a.m. on Saturday, February 11th, 2017, with luncheon to follow.
In lieu of flowers, memorials are suggested to the Presbyterian Church of Gothenburg or Gothenburg Health Foundation.