Catholic Diocese of Spokane, Washington
Official News Magazine of the Diocese of Spokane
P.O. Box 1453, Spokane WA 99210
(509) 358-7340; FAX: (509) 358-7302
Rest in peace: Deacon Richard Skok
Story and photo by Eric Meisfjord, Editor, Inland Register
(From the November 20, 2014 edition of the Inland Register)
Deacon Richard Skok (IR file photo)
Deacon Richard “Dick” Skok died Oct. 9 at home. He was 80 years old and had been married to his wife, Marcine, for 60 years.
The vigil was held the evening of Oct. 31 at St. Mary’s Presentation Parish, Deer Park, where he had ministered most recently as a deacon.
The funeral Mass was celebrated there the following morning. Inurnment was at Holy Redeemer Cemetery in Deer Park. A reception followed at the church hall.
He served in the United States Coast Guard and retired with the rank of captain.
He taught at the university level, and later worked as a long-haul truck driver.
In 1979 he was ordained a deacon by Cardinal Timothy Manning for the Archdiocese of Los Angeles.
He and Marcine moved to Spokane in 1986. Deacon Skok first ministered at the Cathedral of Our Lady of Lourdes and, after moving to Deer Park, at St. Mary’s Presentation Parish there.
Deacon Skok became a deacon of the Spokane Diocese through the process of incardination in 2001.
According to Father Al Grasher, pastor of St. Mary’s Presentation Parish, Deacon Skok was engaged in a number of ministries, including preaching monthly, diaconal ministry at most weekend Masses, arriving at church early to greet people before Mass, and took Communion to the homebound. He and his wife, Marcine, also brought food to the homebound.
Father Grasher called Deacon Skok “a gentle and encouraging spirit. His heart was focused on love of God, love of Church, and prayer.” Father Grasher also cited the deacon’s leadership of small groups, “especially in group prayer and knowledge.”
In 2006, when Father Grasher became unavailable, Deacon Skok stepped forward to lead a parish pilgrimage to the Holy Land.
“He served as long as his body would allow him,” said Father Grasher.
Deacon Skok retired in 2011.
Bishop William Skylstad, Bishop Emeritus of the Spokane Diocese, called Deacon Skok “a dedicated deacon for the Diocese of Spokane, always supported by his wife, Marcine. He was a true servant, but the deterioration of his health in these later years hampered his ability to minister as a deacon. Yet, always a man of faith and deeply committed to the Church, he is truly an inspiration to all of as a faithful disciple of Jesus.
“Our prayerful sympathy is extended to Marcine and his family. May he rest in peace.”
“As pastor of St. Mary Presentation, I appreciated the prayer and support Deacon Dick provided for me and the people,” said Father Grasher. “He would often make a positive remark about the Mass or homily. There was no doubt he would be available when he said he would be. He deeply enjoyed his work with the Church and people. With his gentle spirit, he smoothed out difficult situations. His faith and prayer touched many lives.”
Deacon Skok was also active within the deacon community itself, attending social events and for many years as a consistent participant in regular prayer gatherings of deacons in Spokane.
Deacon John Sicilia, Director of Deacons for the Spokane Diocese, also referred to Deacon Skok’s commitment and diaconal spirit.
“He was a man of strong faith and was truly a man of service,” said Deacon Sicilia, calling him a man who was “appreciated by all who he came in contact with.”
He is survived by his wife, Marcine; six children: Stephanie, Joe, Terry, Melinda, Annette, and Michelle; and 14 grandchildren.
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