In Memory

Durland Lewis Skinner

Durland Lewis Skinner "The People's Friend" Resident of San Leandro Durland was born in Boulder, CO August 31,1921 and passed away August 25, 2010 at 88 in Kaiser Fremont Hospital. He was proceeded in death by his father Clyde Jewett Skinner, his mother Cora Ella Ganzel Skinner, his first wife Lue Adah 's death in 1983 after 41 years of marriage, sister Lura, brothers Ellis, Cloyce and Arlo. He is survived by his wife Virginia Goff Skinner of 23 years, his brother Maynard, and wife Christy, son Douglas and wife Vicki, daughters Linda, Kathleen Saffas and husband George, grandson Caleb, granddaughter Andriana Lam and husband Ben, and great grandson Nolan, Stepson Bryan Goff and wife Nancy, Great granddaughter Jennifer Symonds, husband Skip and step great grandson Ethan, stepdaughter Nancy Werholz, step granddaughter Stephanie Paugh and step great grandsons Bailey and Tyler, step granddaughter Kimberly Werholz, Casey and son Josh. He is survived by many cousins and nieces and nephews. He served in the Army Signal Corps during WWII as a Lieutenant. His hobbies were: Book collecting, Coin collecting, Clocks and Clock repairing. He was a graduate of Boulder High in 1949 and of the University of Colorado Music School and received his Masters Degree in Music Ed in 1952. Durland got his first teaching job in Colorado in 1950 and started teaching 4, 5, 7th grades, then moved in 1952 to teach classroom music in the San Leandro Unified Schools. He was always seen carrying a guitar and flute from room to room. He always had yearly music programs, musical operettas, and school choruses. He was active in the Boy Scouts as over 50 years. Durland was a member and was choir director for 25 years of the First United Church of San Leandro on Bancroft Avenue. Durland was a 50 year member of Masonry, Aames Shrine, Scottish Rite, OES, and conductor of the Aahmes Shrine Band. In lieu of flowers donations may be made to First UMC, 1600 Bancroft Ave., San Leandro, CA 94577 or Shriners Childrens Hospital, 170 Lindbergh Ave., Livermore, CA 94551-9569 marked in Memory of Durland L. Skinner. Memorial services will be held Sept. 18 at 2 pm at the First United Methodist Church in San Leandro at 1600 Bancroft Ave.

Published in Inside Bay Area on September 12, 2010



 
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01/15/11 11:39 PM #1    

Barry Brookens (1968)

I remember Mr. Skinner very well.  I didn’t have any singing classes in Pacific High or John Muir, but I had his classes in the 5th, 6th and 7th grades at Woodrow Wilson Elementary School.  I remember him with his guitar singing and teaching our class to sing many of the old standards.  In fact, I can still remember part of one of the Christmas Carols that he taught us somewhat accurately, and that was “O Christmas Tree!”  I’ve always remembered this because he taught us to sing this song in English and in German.  The part I remember is in German, about half of the first verse. 

 

O Tannenbaum, o Tannenbaum,

wie treu sind deine Blätter!

Du grünst nicht nur

zur Sommerzeit,

 

Little did I know back them, that as an adult I would study music and take some vocal lessons.  I do know that I enjoyed his class and singing, and I was facinated about learning something in another laungage.  Maybe that’s why, 50 years later I still have this nice memory of this song and Mr. Skinner.  From what was writen about him here on this page and my experience with him as a teacher, he was a good man, and it looks like he lived a very good life.


06/11/11 11:40 PM #2    

Denise Andrade (1973)

 

 

I remember Mr. Skinner with so much affection. I wonder if he ever really knew just how many wonderful, musical seeds he planted in all of us kids! He taught during my elementary yrs at Woodrow Wilson. I remember how he  got all of us kids into really liking his cholce of songs. He had a large presence about him and always interested us with his unique knowledge of each songs history and fun facts. I know he surely began my development in MANY different kinds of music and to him, my sincerest THANK YOU for enriching our lives. I have thought of him much through the years and will always remember us singing "Flipper", "Cockles and Mussels", "This Train", and so many more. So, again, THANKS for the beautiful memories, and may GOD BLESS YOU AND KEEP YOU......Denise


02/04/12 04:56 PM #3    

Patti Knoblich Gonzales (1969)

Mr. Skinner was also our singing teacher at Woodrow Wilson....there's a lot of stuff I forget about  events 50 years ago....but the Mr. Skinner music stays with me always....Great songs....great enthusiasm....what an excellent teacher....."Be kind to your web- footed friends ...for a duck maybe somebody's mother"....was his signature exit song...."Now you may thing that this is the end.....well it is! "    NOT......the music goes on and stays with us.........what a wonderful memory. 


02/04/12 04:56 PM #4    

Patti Knoblich Gonzales (1969)

Mr. Skinner was also our singing teacher at Woodrow Wilson....there's a lot of stuff I forget about  events 50 years ago....but the Mr. Skinner music stays with me always....Great songs....great enthusiasm....what an excellent teacher....."Be kind to your web- footed friends ...for a duck maybe somebody's mother"....was his signature exit song...."Now you may thing that this is the end.....well it is! "    NOT......the music goes on and stays with us.........what a wonderful memory. 


04/10/12 07:50 AM #5    

Linda Ferreira (1974)

Mr Skinner also provided many years of music and singing instruction at James Madison Elementary. In addition to playing guitar and teaching folk songs to all of us he played the autoharp which to me was a magical instrument. I used to love watching him strum one side and push the cord keys on the other side.

Because the Skinners lived in Bonaire, we used to trick-or-treat at the Mr. Skinners home. He used to always make us sing a song before giving us the candy. He had a great sense of humor and a gentle heart. I began taking music at James Madison and continue to play actively in a community band. The musical  influence Mr. Skinner (and Mrs. Bell) had in my life lives on today.


03/16/17 02:39 PM #6    

Robert Casillas (1972)

In the fifth and six grades, Woodrow Wilson,  I couldnt wait for Mr. Skinner to come to our class and play his guitar and get us kids to sign along. He was my first guitar hero.

RIP


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