June 20th, 2019


Scott Skinner

May 31, 1942 – December 15, 2018

Burial Date

Obituaries » Scott Skinner

Scott Skinner, 76, died on Dec. 15, 2018. He was born on May 31, 1942 in northern PA, to Mary Van Dyne and Osmun Skinner. He liked to say one of his goals in life was to make someone laugh every day and he generally thought that he had succeeded. In 1960, he received a scholarship to attend a British boarding school, Clifton College, in England where he studied English history, learned to play rugby, and set a discus record which still stands. In 1961, Scott enrolled in Dartmouth College, graduating with a B.A. in history with high honors. Deferring law school, he joined the Peace Corps and spent two years in Nepal teaching English. After returning from Nepal, Scott enrolled in Columbia Law School, graduating in 1969. After graduation, he worked in NYC and married Mary Just, a brilliant law student, on March 21, 1970. Scott and Mary moved to Montpelier in 1972, and Scott became the first executive director of the newly created Vermont Public Interest Research Group (VPIRG). In 1980, after practicing law for several years, Scott became executive director of the Vermont affiliate of the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) where the central issue was the state’s raid and seizure of the children of a religious community in Island Pond. Scott then joined his friends Pat Biggam and Ron Fox in their Montpelier law practice in what became Biggam, Fox & Skinner until he retired. In retirement, he worked with the Barre Historical Society to renovate and preserve the Old Labor Hall in Barre. Scott’s great joy was raising his two sons: Justin, now an immigration lawyer, and Wilson, a middle school teacher. They remained very close throughout his life. In addition to immediate family, Scott is survived by his sister, Catchy McDowell of Ann Arbor, MI, and his brothers Douglas Skinner of White Oak, PA and Stephen Skinner of Troy, PA.

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