Dr. Donald Ellsworth Skjei, 97, physician and long-time resident of Williston, passed away Thursday evening, March 22, 2018 at his residence in Laguna Hills, California.
Don was born Nov. 9th, 1920, in Kempton, North Dakota, the oldest of four children born to Janive and Raynold Skjei and married, 24 years later (March 4) a beautiful, smart and clever nurse, Avis Marie Lommen of Fordville, ND. Together they raised four children.
A 1938 graduate of Williston High School, he received his under-graduate degree at the UND, 1944. a Doctorate General Medicine at Temple University, 1946 (Philadelphia) and a post-baccalaureate degree at University of Wisconsin, 1986 (Madison). He served in the United State Army, 1947-48, at Schofield Barracks, Hawaii and Fitzsimons General Hospital, Colorado. In 1949, after his military service Captain Skjei returned to Williston where, for nearly 40 years, he practiced medicine with the Williston Clinic and Western Dakota Medical Group, the Good Samaritan Hospital & Mercy Hospital. In 1984 he was granted a Bush Fellowship in hospital administration and in 1986 became VP of Medical Affairs at Mercy Hospital in Williston, until his retirement in 1988, he maintained “Honorary Staff” membership at Mercy for many years after.
Don was a member of the American Medical Association, Kotana Medical Association, North Dakota Medical Association, the Elks, and a founding member of Fort Buford’s Sixth Infantry.
Donald was a devoted healer; a beloved husband, father, son and friend; a ravenous reader; a tenacious lawn gardener; an on-and-off collector with impeccable tastes; and a so-so golfer... he will be greatly missed by those he leaves behind.
Dr. Skjei was preceded in death by his parents, his wife, his sister and brothers Lola Jean, Roger & Mark, and son Stephen. Don is survived by his daughter, Kay Skjei (Chris Toy) of Laguna Beach, California; daughter-in-law Barbara Skjei of Bettendorf, Iowa & her children, Molly (Michael) Bulfin & great grandson Harvey, Clara Skjei, Kelsey Skjei (Gabriel Carerra), Ted Skjei (Elizabeth Hodgeson) & great grandson Leif, Kristen Boekleheide (Davin Stewart) & great granddaughter Ada, and Jason Boekelheide; daughter, Jean (Rick) Storlie of Mt. Pleasant, Arkansas & their children Kate (Rich) Lea & great granddaughters Erin & Gracie, Emily Rogness, Amy Storlie, Stephanie Storlie, and Katie Storlie; his son, Michael Skjei (Haidee Johnstone) of Minneapolis; and many dear friends.