Obituary: Monte Bayer Skinner


Monte Bayer Skinner was born on March 6, 1928, in Rawlins, Wyo., to Viola (Nystrom) and Clem Skinner, the second of six boys (Bud, Monte, Bob, Courtney, Quentin, and Ole). He died at St. John’s Hospital in Jackson, Wyo., on June 6.
A memorial service will be held on Aug. 19, at 11 a.m., at the Museum of the Mountain Man Pavilion in Pinedale.
Monte grew up on the Pitchfork Ranch near Meeteetse, Wyo., and on the Box K Dude Ranch at Soda Lake, near Pinedale, Wyo. Along with his brothers, he helped his parents with their dude business and explored the Wind River Mountains. At just 17 years of age, he enlisted in the U.S. Navy and served as a Seaman First Class from July 26, 1945, to July 26, 1946. He was stationed in the South Pacific during World War II. Following the war he attended the University of Wyoming, earning a bachelor’s degree in education in 1950. He was a varsity member of the University of Wyoming Men’s Ski Team competing in alpine, cross-country and jumping events.
Monte pursued his love of skiing and teaching as a professional ski instructor of America in Sun Valley, Idaho. Later, with his brother, Bob, he founded Skinner Brothers’ Wilderness Schools, operating from a basecamp out of Burnt Lake on the Bridger-Teton National Forest. Their focus was to help kids develop self-reliance, teamwork, and leadership skills while participating in outdoor activities, including a survival hike, horsemanship, rafting the Green River, and climbing. They soon added pack trips and guided hunting and were joined by their brothers in the business. The business operated from 1956 to 2004.
Community service was important to Monte. He served as a Sublette County commissioner from 1987 to 1994, coached the Pinedale Ski Team, was a board member for Sublette County Weed and Pest and on the Sublette County Zoning Commission.
He was a loyal friend and maintained contact with former campers and hunters throughout his life.
Monte was famously energetic, self-driven, and a competitor, last riding a horse, elk hunting and winning a ski-racing medal at the Wyoming Senior Olympics when he was 90. He avidly read history books about WWII and early explorers of Sublette County, built robust campfires, restored a sheep wagon or two and loved his mules, Jenny and Jake, and his guide horses, Beetlebomb, Barley, and Whiskey. He had an eagle’s eye for elk and in addition to guests, took friends and family elk hunting. His favorite places in the Wind River Mountains were Mt. Bonneville, Raid Lake, Fire Hole (secret hunting spot), the Golden Lakes and Mt. Baldy. While indoors, he enjoyed Donna’s companionship and cooking, fiddling with computers, and watching the University of Wyoming football games.
He is survived by his wife, Donna Skinner (Paulsen), daughters Ellen Skinner, Mary Lundell (Kent Lundell), and Amy Warren (Kevin Warren); grandchildren Katie Gustafson, Blake Lundell, Meghan Warren and Monte Warren; great-grandchildren Wren Gardner and Maeve Gardner; and brothers Quentin Skinner and Ole Skinner. He was preceded in death by his brothers Bud Skinner, Bob Skinner and Courtney Skinner.
The family wishes for memorial contributions to be made to the Museum of the Mountain Man in Pinedale.