FREWSBURG - Friends and family came together Friday morning to honor the lives of Gordon and Joyce Skinner, the Frewsburg couple found dead in their home last week.
Pews were full at a memorial service, held at Trinity United Methodist Church in Frewsburg, with more than 40 people sitting or standing in the vestibule outside of the chapel.
Members of the local chapter of the Patriot Guard Riders were on hand to honor the Skinners, as well. The Patriot Guard Riders, founded in 2005, is a motorcycle club whose members attend the funerals of U.S. armed forces members, firefighters and police at the invitation of the deceased's family. It was originally formed to protect funerals from possible protests.
Members of the local chapter of the Patriot Guard Riders were on hand to honor the Skinners.
P-J photo by Ryan Atkins
Following a short speech from the pastor, a letter from Lee Foster, a family friend and co-worker of Joyce, was read, recalling how Joyce had been like a big sister to many of the people with whom she worked with, caring for them and their families.
"On a personal level, I will miss her badly for a long time," said Foster.
One of Gordon's close friends of more than five decades then stepped up to the microphone, extolling the goodness of the Skinners.
"No two people were more caring or honest," he said. "Gordy was one of the most proud Marines I've ever met. He took the Marine's motto, Semper Fidelis - always faithful - as a model to live his life by. There was no one more giving or more committed than Joyce."
According to friends, the Skinners lived in a relationship that was the envy of all that knew them, saying that Gordon would have done anything for the woman that he loved.
After the eulogy, the memorial service closed with the pastor asking for those in attendance to focus on the gift that was given to them by allowing them to cross paths with Gordon and Joyce's lives. The group was then led in song as they sang "Amazing Grace."
Following the service, burial took place in Kennedy Riverside Cemetery.