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FM2020 – Editorial

Obituary of Chris Skelton

Chris “Bones” Skelton, 1953-2020.

With his family by his side at St. Joseph’s Hospice in London, ON,  Chris “Bones” Skeleton passed away at the age of 66 on January 12, 2020. Beloved husband of Lou Ann. Father to Peter, Chris Jr and Lauren. Grandfather to James and Robert and brother to Tom. Chris will be fondly remembered by his second family Middlesex London Paramedic Service where he proudly served for 46 years. Chris was an amazing artist, talented musician, lover of 60’s music and dinosaurs! The family would like to extend a special thank you to Dr. Faulds, Erin, Lexe, Jesse, Nancy and the wonderfully compassionate team of St. Joseph’s Hospice. In lieu of flowers, donations in memory of Chris may be made to St. Joseph’s Hospice at 485 Windermere Road, PO Box 1449 Station B, London Ontario N6A 5M2.

There are many positive developments that stem from the maturation of Paramedicine as a profession. Paramedic-driven research, self-regulation, greater scope of practice, inclusion at the health care table and degrees in Paramedicine to name a few. On the other hand, though, we are now losing paramedics to old age for the first time.

Such is the case with my good friend, Chris Skelton. Chris wasn’t that old, but age-related chronic health issues claimed him. I can’t honour all paramedics who pass due to age and health-related reasons, but I must honour Chris.

Readers of Canadian Paramedicine will remember Chris for the Bones cartoons that ran for many years in the magazine. He was more than just a contributor to the magazine though. He was a dear friend. I’ve told this story before about Chris but it bears repeating. It is said that you find out who your friends are on moving day. Well, when Chris heard we were moving onto an acreage he hopped on a plane and flew across Canada to spend a week helping me move. Thanks, Chris.

Of course, it helped that our acreage is in the middle of the second richest deposit of dinosaur bones in the world. I’m not joking. Renowned palaeontologist Dr. Phil Currie verified that claim to me while he was using our acreage as a base camp for a triceratops dig.

Chris shared a significant paleo discovery with me one summer. We were exploring the canyons near our yard when we discovered what is known in paleo jargon as a micro-site. A micro-site is a small site that contains an incredible volume of fossils. These sites often form at the bends of prehistoric rivers where floodwaters tend to deposit numerous carcasses, which is likely what formed the site Chris and I found. To date, we have identified five different species of dinosaurs at this site based on the types of teeth and bones we’ve found.

I’ll always think of Chris when I visit this site.

Be well, my friend. Happy bone hunting.

Lyle Blumhagen, Publisher

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