By: Michael Campbell, News Editor
12:30 p.m. | June 22, 2017
PRINCE GEORGE – Last Tuesday, business carried on as usual inside the Prince George boardroom during the county’s regular meeting of the board of supervisors, but there was a noticeable absence that could be seen and felt throughout the room.
Tuesday is the first time the Prince George Board of Supervisors met following the death of longtime District 1 Supervisor Jerry Skalsky, who passed away at the age of 74 on May 24.
Through a late-afternoon work session and into the regular meeting, Skalsky’s chair remained empty, draped in a black cloth of mourning as the county’s top leaders, along with the community at large, continues to mourn the loss of a beloved member of Prince George.
Prior to the start of business, the invocation was delivered by Pastor Robert Livesay of Oakland Baptist Church, who also presided over the funeral service for Skalsky held at Prince George High School on Memorial Day late last month, offering reflections on what Skalsky meant to his family, friends and, the county.
“Jerry had meant so much to the board and the county,” he said. “He worked so hard over the last 18 years to make this a good place to live, work, play, and go to school.”
Following his Livesay’s opening prayer, Chairman Bill Robertson shared some details regarding the death of Skalsky, saying, on the day of his passing, the well-known community member was doing something he was always known to do, taking someone to a medical appointment and waiting for them to finish up inside when he suffered a heart attack.
“Jerry was always taking people to the doctor, dentist, or dialysis,” Robertson said. “He is an individual that that community will not be able to replace for a long time.”
The tributes continued through the meetings as representatives from the Virginia Department of Transportation and a new solar project and residents all offered their condolences to the board and Skalsky family as Jerry’s wife, Brenda sat in the audience.
“It was a pleasure to work with him for such a short period of time,” VDOT’s Crystal Smith said of Skalsky prior to her report to supervisors. “It was very obvious that he was committed to the community and citizens. I will pray for as well because I know there is a huge void there.”
Supervisor Alan Carmichael was particularly moved by returning to the Prince George boardroom, where many had seen Skalsky sharing laughs, smiles, and pleasant conversation just three weeks earlier.
“Reality has set in with the passing of Mr. Skalsky,” he said. “When you come in this evening, it is still a very sad evening to relive what we all experienced over a week ago,” he said as he yielded the remainder of his time to County Administrator Percy Ashcraft’s report, which featured updates on the county’s outstanding athletic performances by Prince George’s young residents, something Skalsky was passionate about.
“Jerry would have really loved to hear about that because he was all about sports in this county,” Carmichael continued.
During his comments, the county administrator offered thanks to the Skalsky family following Ashcraft to represent the county’s employees during May’s memorial service to the late supervisors while reminding everyone that Jerry’s memory will endure within the halls of the government buildings, throughout Prince George and beyond its borders.
“Not only will we never forget Jerry, but I think those of us who were there will not forget the moment and what it meant to be part of that and, for one last time, to thank him for what he did for us, as employees,” the county administrator said to the Skalsky family.
Ashcraft continued, “We want to thank you and your family for the sacrifices that you made and that you allowed him to spread his life to the betterment of others.”