Jeanne Vanette Retherford Skillin



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Vanette Skillin, professional ballroom dancer, manager, den mother, soccer mom, and adoring wife passed away peacefully on March 1, 2015 at 82 years of age. Vanette was born in Hot Springs, Arkansas on September 1, 1932 to Hazel Linam Retherford and Evander Monroe Retherford. During World War II, Vanette lived and went to school in the war relocation centers at Rohwer and Jerome, Arkansas where her mother was a school teacher. Vanette went to high school at the historic Central High School in Washington D.C. Following in her mother’s footsteps Vanette sought out a job in the federal government and rose up through the ranks of the department of Health, Education and Welfare. Vanette also became a professional ballroom dancer competing, teaching and working many black-tie functions in the Washington D.C. area.  In 1961 while bowling she met a handsome merchant mariner, Cecil Skillin from Kenduskeag, Maine, who won her heart. She convinced him that it was time to give up the sea and they raised two sons, Bruce and Scott. Vanette retired from government service in the early 1970s to focus full time on raising her boys. Wanting to live somewhere warm, Cecil and Vanette decided after much searching to move to Southwest Florida. In Florida, Vanette worked hard to raise the boys while helping Cecil manage his rental properties. She enjoyed a number of great friends, and being active in the North Naples United Methodist Church. Vanette took great pride in watching their boys both graduate college, start their families and careers. Leaving Florida, Vanette and Cecil enjoyed the life of “RV Escapees”. Cecil and Vanette based themselves in Laughlin, Nevada in the winter and summered in Valdez, Alaska meeting many new life-long friends who also traveled the roads in recreational vehicles. In the mid-2000s Vanette and Cecil decided to give up the life on the road and settle down in Hoschton, Georgia to be near their children, grandchildren, and great grandchildren.
Vanette is survived by her husband of 53 years , Cecil Skillin, sisters Diane Baker, Jan Retherford Sullivan, and Ann Retherford, sons Bruce Skillin and Scott Skillin, and daughter in-law Marcy Ward Skillin. Vanette’s biggest smiles were seen after the mere mention of grandchildren Kimberly Skillin Tinney, Kristen Skillin, Sabrina Skillin, Sam Skillin, great grandchildren Harbin Tinney, Catherine Tinney, Lydia Tinney, Ella Tinney, Penelope Tinney, and Wesley Linen. No service will be held at Vanette’s request. Her family is planning a life celebration to remember Vanette to be held in the spring. Vanette will be laid to rest in with family in Magnet Cove, Arkansas. Remembrances can be left on Vanette’s Facebook page: Arrangements by Lawson Funeral Home, 4532 Hwy 53, Hoschton, GA, 30548,, 706-654-0966.

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