By Sheri Hink-Wagner
The Wauneta Breeze
Wauneta lost one of its heroes when Troy Skelton, 46, passed away Saturday, April 5. Troy served on the Wauneta EMS for more than 14 years.
Wauneta EMS squad members describe Troy as their captain, instructor, brother and hero. Members said they will remember him for his compassion and for the love he had for helping people.
Troy began his rescue efforts for others as a basic EMT then continued his education and eventually became an EMT-paramedic.
“The personal growth I saw in Troy over those 14 plus years was amazing,” said long-time Wauneta EMS squad member Lana Skelton. “I saw him grow both as a person and as an EMT in those years because of his passion for helping people.”
He used this training to serve the Wauneta community and surrounding area. At the time of his passing Troy had served as Wauneta EMS squad captain for several years.
“Troy always had faith in us and gave us the desire to strive and meet our goals,” explains squad member Leanne Hunt. “I’m an EMT today because of his influence and impact on my life.”
Troy’s presence will be missed throughout the community as his contributions were many.
He coached T-ball, dad’s pitch and baseball when his children, Colby and Emma, were young. Troy’s wife of 24 years, Evelyn, remembers how Troy would often coach his kids and their teammates from the sidelines even if he wasn’t serving in an official capacity.
Troy loved his children and was always active in whatever activity they participated in. He took special interest in their friends. As Evelyn put it, “kind of adopting Colby and Emma’s friends.” As recently as last winter Troy and hunting buddy Steve Pollmann took a group of Colby’s friends from high school on a goose hunting trip.
Troy was an avid hunter. Troy and Evelyn’s home features many of his trophies mounted on the walls.
“Hunting was his get-a-way, his quiet place to get away,” Evelyn explained. He loved being outdoors and loved sharing his passion with others.
His love for the outdoors was part of the pull that brought their family back to Wauneta. Troy began his life’s journey in Wauneta, living here for the first months of his life before his family moved to Denver while he was an infant. He spent most of his school years in Denver and moved to Arizona to finish high school.
It was in Arizona where Troy met Evelyn and they began their life and family together. During a trip back to Wauneta to visit cousin Nate Nordhausen, Troy turned to Evelyn and said, “This is where we need to be.”
Evelyn said it took him about six months to convince her to move to Wauneta. Growing up in Pheonix, small town life was a bit of a culture change for her. But, she added that she’s never regretted it, Wauneta’s become her home.
When Emma was four months old the family moved to Wauneta and settled here for good.
Troy worked in Imperial for a short time when they first moved back before purchasing a semi truck. While waiting for licenses and permits to come through Troy found his future business doing various construction jobs.
After the permits came through he continued to do construction work on the side in addition to driving the truck. Eventually it came to a point where he found himself doing more construction than driving and S&S Construction was born in 1998. Troy and his crew provided a variety of construction services in southwest Nebraska for over 15 years.
Troy will be remembered for his volunteer contributions to the Wauneta community as well as his contributions to Wauneta’s business community. Funeral services for Troy were held on Friday, April 11 at the United Methodist Church in Wauneta.