Verne Leslie Skjonsby Jr. passed away on May 2, 2023, in Cutten. He was lovingly cared for by family members spending his final days at home. He was also given amazing care by Hospice of Humboldt.

Verne was third-generation born in Honolulu. His grandfather Jason was born under the reign of King Kalakaua. The family was originally from the Azores and Madeira.

He attended Punahou High School and the Lawrenceville School and graduated from the University of Colorado with a degree in anthropology. He had a wide range of careers that generally were always involved with education.

He started teaching the gifted and highly gifted in science in the seventh and eighth grades. The students’ learning experiences took place flying rockets in the air and traveling on the R.V. Inland Seas on the San Francisco Bay.

He became fascinated with the early computers and taught a large company’s employees to use those very large computers. He went onto working for Tandy doing the final assembly of computers and again training people how to use their computers. His last job in computers was to teach bid estimating to contractors all over the United States. He especially liked doing it in Alaska, as the contractors would take him out in small planes to see different areas of Alaska.

He was a lay assisting minister in the Lutheran Church for 35 years — first in Burlingame, being trained by Pastor Peter Garrison, and then at Calvary Lutheran Church in Eureka. He spent the last years of his life training new Lay Assisting Ministries at Calvary, leaving a strong legacy behind. He served on Lutheran Homes for the Aging Board for fifteen years, and many years on Calvary Council.

He served on the Pacific Union School board for nine years and when he moved to Cutten he served on the Cutten School Board for four years. Every election he could be found doing a wide range of activities from being a poll worker to being a supervisor of several polling places. He felt it was very important to be a blood donor and was honored by Peninsula Blood Bank, in Burlingame, for his ten-gallon donation. When he moved to Humboldt, he gave seven gallons of blood to the local blood bank. Ill health stopped him from being a donor, which he was very disappointed about.

Verne was an avid reader, which made the Mensa book club one of his favorite activities. He was a faithful member of the group the 22 years he lived in Humboldt County. He liked being the host of the Book Group. He attended many of the other activities that Mensa provided.

He learned camping from his wife, Dorothy and most summers were spent camping in most of the Western United States and Canada. The family’s favorite spot was Yosemite, during both summer and winter. One winter even being caught in a blizzard while cross country skiing with his family. Being five stubborn individuals the family all made it back safely.

His father, Lieutenant Commander Verne Leslie Skjonsby, and his mother, Dorothy Marie Andrade Skjonsby, preceded him in death. He leaves behind his wife of 52 years, Dorothy Eda Svennngsen Skjonsby; his children, Johannes Skjonsby, Jason Skjonsby, and Kierstine Escalante; his daughters-in-law, Surya Skjonsby, Fern Dalton, and Stacy Escalante; and grandchildren, Karishma Skjonsby, Beorn Skjonsby, Phelan Escalante and Luca Escalante.

In place of flowers donations can be made to the Eureka Mission or Hospice of Humboldt, in memory of Verne Leslie Skjonsby, Jr.

Remembrance services will be held May 27 at 2 p.m. at Calvary Lutheran Church 716 South Ave. (across from Alice Birney) in Eureka. Fellowship will follow the service.


The obituary above was submitted on behalf of Verne Skjonsby’s loved ones. The Lost Coast Outpost runs obituaries of Humboldt County residents at no charge. See guidelines here. Email