Dr. William "Bill" Skinner, 95, formerly of Nashville, Tennessee, died at his home in Paducah on Sunday, November 4, 2018.
Dr. William Skinner was born to Carey and Joseph Glenn Skinner in Nashville, Tennessee. He was a member of the 1941 graduating class of West End High School. He immediately began his pre-med studies at Vanderbilt University in 1941 and completed his pre-med studies at Emory University in 1943. He attended the Medical University of South Carolina, Charleston, South Carolina, and graduated with his medical degree in 1948.
While attending Medical School in Charleston, Dr. Skinner was enlisted in the U.S. Naval Reserve. Compelled by his desire to serve others and to minister in Jesus' Name, William believed he received a calling from God to go into medical missions from the onset of his medical studies. As was his usual practice, he often attended a midday devotional prayer at Citadel Square Baptist Church in Charleston, South Carolina. It was during those services where he met his beloved, Frances Lawrence, who also shared a strong desire to proclaim the Gospel of Jesus Christ on the mission field. The two were married August 1947. As he completed his internship and surgical residency at the Nashville General Hospital, in Nashville, Tennessee, William and Frances presented their applications for full time missionary service with the Foreign Mission Board of the Southern Baptist Convention.
In 1950, they were appointed to missionary service in Asunción, Paraguay, where Dr. Skinner presented himself to serve the people of Paraguay, speaking fluent Spanish and Guaraní. During his 38 years of service, and together with his wife Frances, Dr. Skinner worked tirelessly to establish a high standard of medical care for the Baptist Hospital of Asunción Paraguay; established six Baptist churches in Paraguay; executed the operation of mobile clinics throughout Paraguay; and all while devoting himself to his four children. His efforts to improve the quality of medical care in Paraguay were not only limited to the training of medical students, interns, residents and nurses in the country, but Dr. Skinner regularly took his furlough year, every four years, to train in various medical subspecialties, in order to bring his expertise back to the medical community in Paraguay. Those subspecialties included: Obstetrics and Gynecology, Pediatric Cardiology, Family and Community Health, and Electrophoresis and Blood Banking. Dr. Skinner applied himself at being a Family Practice Physician long before it became a medical subspecialty.
In the last years of their service in Paraguay, Dr. Skinner and his wife ventured out of Asunción to a remote area four hours away, in order to bring medical care and to provide the Gospel to Paraguayans who would otherwise not ever see a doctor or ever hear the Bible message of salvation through Jesus Christ. Those circumstances trained him for further adventures as a Christian doctor, even after his retirement from full-time mission work in Paraguay.
"In all these things, we are more than conquerors through Him who loved us." Romans 8:37
He was a member of several medical societies, among which included, American Medical Association, Fellow of the American Academy of Pediatrics, Diplomat of the American Board of Family Practice, and Baptist Medical-Dental Fellowship. He also enjoyed ministering in many other countries on short-term mission trips, including: Honduras, Venezuela, Philippines, Chile, Costa Rica, Brazil and Iraq following Desert Storm in 1991. Dr. Skinner returned to Nashville where he derived great enjoyment from his volunteer work at the Rescue Mission in Nashville, Tennessee, until his final retirement in 2006 at age 84.
Dr. Skinner spent the remainder of his life supporting the Paraguay Baptist Medical Center Foundation, which he helped establish with his good friends and colleagues who share a desire to continue improving the quality and integrity of Christian service to the Centro Medico Bautista in Asunción, Paraguay, and the communities they serve.
"The wise will shine like the brightness of the heavens and those who lead many to righteousness, like the stars, forever and ever." Daniel 12:3
Above all of his accomplishments, Dr. Skinner's fervent pursuit was always the well-being of his family. He was devoted to inspiring his children to accomplish their response to God's calling for each of their lives. Dr. Janice Algea (Dr. William Algea), Dr. William L. Skinner (Laura), Dr. Glenn E. Skinner, and the Rev. Peggy Sims (Rev. Mark Sims) wish to acknowledge their gratitude for a loving and supportive father.
To his 13 grandchildren, and their spouses, 17 great-grandchildren and two great great-children, Dr. Skinner desired to leave a legacy of faith:
"I count all things but loss for the excellency of the knowledge of Jesus, my Lord." Philippians 3:8
When Dr. Skinner blew out the candles at every birthday, his wish was that all of his family would make a profession of faith in Jesus Christ.
On Thursday, November 8, 2018, visitation will begin at 1 p.m. with funeral services at 3 p.m. at Lone Oak First Baptist Church and officiated by Dr. Dan Summerlin, Pastor. On Friday, November 9, 2018, a visitation at 11 a.m. and memorial service will be held at 1 p.m. at Woodlawn Funeral Home, 660 Thompson Drive, Nashville, Tennessee, with the Reverend Mark Sims officiating.
Burial will follow the service at Woodlawn "Field of Honor" Cemetery.
Expressions of sympathy may take the form of donations (tax deductible) to: The Skinner Fund for Nursing Students, c/o Paraguay Baptist Medical Center Foundation, 4101 West Green Oaks Blvd. Ste. 305, #175, Arlington, TX 76016.
You may leave a message of sympathy and light a candle at www.milnerandorr.com.