Charles Mather Skinner III

Charles Mather Skinner III passed away on June 17th at the age of 87 in his new home in Red Wing, MN.A burial service will be held at 2:00 p.m. Tuesday, June 22nd at Lakewood Cemetery in Minneapolis. An additional memorial service is planned in Lutsen this summer. Charles was born in St. Louis, MO on August 30, 1933, to Eleanor Whiting Skinner and Charles Mather Skinner II. He grew up near Lake Harriet in Minneapolis where he loved racing sailboats during the summer and snow sliding adventures in the winter. At the age of 17, he joined the United States Navy and fought in the Korean War as a navigator aboard dive bombers. After his service, he returned home to Minnesota where he graduated from the University of Minnesota Law School, served on the law review, and began practicing law in Grand Rapids, MN. In 1962, he led the formation of Sugar Hills Ski and purchased Sugar Lake (Otis) Resort in Grand Rapids, MN. For 20 years, Charles pioneered snowmaking inventions, collaborated with other Midwest ski area owners to build a golden age for Midwest ski areas, and advised ski areas across the U.S. including Aspen on snowmaking. In the 1970s, Scott Paper Company recruited Charles to manage recreational lands across New England, and later promoted him to become President of Sugarloaf Mountain ski area in Maine. In 1980, he bought, and significantly expanded, Lutsen Mountains in Lutsen, MN, which is now owned and operated by his children. He and his wife spent many happy years on North Captiva Island, Florida, where they owned and operated Barnacle Phil’s Restaurant. An entrepreneur and risk-taker at heart, he never wanted to retire and was always looking for new business ventures. His work at Sugar Hills, Lutsen Mountains and North Captive Island helped local economics expand and thrive. He was a much-respected leader and inspiration to thousands of people over the years. Charles was incredibly intellectually curious and an avid reader, with a tremendous memory for facts and history. Unstoppable and unforgettable, he had a wonderful sense of humor and gave wise counsel to many. Survivors include his wife of 26 years, Deborah, three children, Charles Skinner IV (Mie), Ann Skinner Rider (Tom), Mary Skinner Junnila (William) and six grandchildren, Christopher, Charlotte, Molly, Caroline, Eric, Andrew, and his brother Harry Skinner and sister Lynn Rideout. He was preceded in death by his parents and sister Sally. In lieu of flowers, memorials to Minnesota Nature Conservancy. gearty-delmore.com 952-926-1615


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