Shirley Jean Skillen
Shirley Jean Skillen
  • January 14, 1938 - December 18, 2017
  • San Diego, California

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Shirley Tennant Fulbright Skillen


Shirley was born in Bowman, North Dakota to Jennie Fae Corneil and Alfred Abraham Tennant, who was employed on his father Abe's sheep and cattle ranch. Shirley lived there from 1938-1943 until her parents separated. Her brother Alfred Tennant stayed on the ranch with his father and Shirley went with her mother...

From 1943-1946- at the insistence of her Aunt "sis" Oneida Tennant she was sent to the Ursuline Convent in Miles City, MT for boarding school as her mother could not afford to take care of her alone...

There she learned about God from the nuns who ran the boarding school. Her mother worked as a waitress, meanwhile, and she met Roy Rogers who would soon become Jennie Corneils 2nd husband as well as Shirley's 2nd father. They moved to Terry, MT in 1946 where Shirley attended schools until her graduation from Terry High School in 1956.

Shirley then entered Montana State College where she began studying nursing, her lifelong dream and chosen profession. In her freshman year, she met and dated Andrew James Skillen until she moved to Great Falls, MT to continue her nursing studies. Shirley committed her life to Jesus Christ in 1958. In 1960 she married James Lewis Fulbright of Denton, MT. The couple moved to IL where her husband continued studying dentistry at Loyola Dental School in Chicago IL. There on October 9th, 1961 , they had their first child, a son, Glenn Todd Fulbright. On May 19, 1965 they had their 2nd child, a daughter, Jennie Louise Fulbright. In June, upon dental school graduation, they moved to Helena, MT for the summer before starting Jim's first Dental practice in Whitefish, MT. Shirley worked in many capacities as a nurse: Obstetric, Psychiatric Nursing, Public Health nursing, home health nursing, hospital floor nursing, Family education, etc. until their divorce in 1976. She then moved to Clarkston, WA to teach the LPN program at the Walla Walla community college. Shirley earned her Masters Degree in Nursing from WSU and was reunited in marriage to Andrew James Skillen on October 12, 1991 in Spokane, WA. The couple made their new home in San Diego, CA where Shirley continued her nursing career at Scrips La Jolla, Grossmont, and San Diego City College. She retired in 2004. Then, she toured the Eastern US with Jim Skillen. She was an active Sunday School teacher at Pocahontas Church and the Branch Church of San Diego. Shirley was diagnosed with Parkinson's Disease in 2005 and she died from complications of this disease in December 18, 2017. She is survived by her husband Andrew James Skillen- retired Corporate Executive and her brother Alfred Tennant an artist from Whidbey Island -Coupeville, WA and her son Glenn Fulbright - an environmental specialist in Sacramento, CA - and her grandson, Colton Fulbright-a retail manager in Sacramento, CA- her daughter Jennie Holland, a music teacher in Seattle, WA and her son in law, Mark Holland - a media manager in Seattle, WA