Published in DA News Spring 2018.
DEAN SKILTON (1958–2017)
On the 11th of November 2017, Dean Skilton died peacefully at his home in Exminster aged 58 years. His funeral was held in St Peter’s Chapel at the Exeter and Devon Crematorium, and was well attended by his family, friends and acquaintances. Besides being a skilled computer scientist, it transpired that he was passionately interested in steam engines both at home and abroad, and played an active role in local amateur dramatics and popular music-making.
Dean’s involvement with the Devonshire Association started in 2005 when he created an early website for Prof. Mark Brayshay. Later, in 2012, it was realised that the website needed substantial updating and modernising in preparation for the Association’s 150th Anniversary celebrations. Dean then worked in a team with graphic designer Delphine Jones and myself to improve the content, functionality and appearance of the website. Once established, Dean continued to maintain and develop the website and, although seriously ill at the time, selflessly helped with the transition to the present version, newly created and launched by John Maltby in late 2017. The new website is appropriately dedicated to Dean.
Throughout his 12 years of unbroken service, Dean remained a truly charming, unassuming, generous and utterly reliable man who gave freely of his time to charitable organisations, and eventually showed immense courage in the face of adversity. In appreciation of his services, the Association decided to present him with a book by Peter Beacham and James Ravilious, ‘Down the Deep Lanes‘. Unfortunately it arrived a week too late. His wife Sally, however, is deeply grateful for the gift which she will cherish in the memory of her husband.
Antony T Buller