1934 Donald 2023

Donald Lee Skousen

December 21, 1934 — November 14, 2023


Donald Lee Skousen passed away peacefully with family in Chandler on 14 Nov 2023 at the age of 88. 


Don was born on 21 Dec 1934 in Chandler, the youngest child of James Grant Skousen and Rhoda Mary Patten. He grew up in Chandler surrounded by a large extended family, including 22 aunts and uncles and numerous cousins. After graduating from Chandler High School, he served a mission for the LDS Church in Uruguay where he learned to love and serve people and became fluent in Spanish, which he used throughout his personal and professional life.


He met and married Sylvia Ann Crosby while attending ASU. Together they raised five children, teaching them love, hard work and sharing many adventures. While in school, he worked nights as a police officer in Tempe and then in Scottsdale, where he was a patrolman, detective, sergeant (one of his many “claims to fame” was apprehending one of the FBI’s 10 most wanted), and lieutenant, before finally accepting a position as Scottsdale Assistant City Manager. 


In 1971, he moved his young family to the town of Gilbert and started a new position as professor at Mesa Community College where he taught for more than two decades. Don quickly became a fixture in Gilbert, getting elected to the Gilbert School Board in 1972, where he served for 20 years. He was appointed to be the town judge, a position he held for 18 years, and later was elected Justice of the Peace in East Maricopa County.  He was elected to serve on the Gilbert Town Council for 8 years and was interim City Manager for Chandler and interim Town Manager for Gilbert. 


In 1986, Don married Mary Jane Maas. Together they enjoyed RV’ing, cruises, and traveling with friends and family. He and Mary developed a love for redesigning and beautifying homes, a shared passion that resulted in them owning and living in more than a dozen different homes in Gilbert throughout their marriage. His life was deeply enriched by his cherished relationships with Mary’s children and grandchildren who grew to become his own. Their love and care for Don was especially sustaining after he suffered the great loss of Mary’s passing in 2012.


In 2018 Don’s love expanded once again, when he married Christine Wilkins. They enjoyed cruises and being with family. He loved visiting and spending time with all of his step-children and step-grandchildren.  She was his companion as he faced the many health challenges related to aging and heart failure.


Don loved singing, playing his guitar, and playing card games.  He loved people, especially joking and laughing with them and was always quick with a compliment or encouragement to others. Maybe almost as much, Don loved cars. He could tell you the year, make, and model of any car on the road at a glance.  One of the highlights of each week was his Wednesday and Thursday lunches with past and present fellow judges, police chiefs and city officials…a tradition that started nearly 30 years ago. When the dark day came that he could no longer drive, his buddies immediately recognized the gravity of the crisis and kindly became his chauffeurs…for which Don (and his family) are eternally grateful.


Don always felt a deep connection to his community. He was proud of helping to save “the Alamo” (now the Gilbert Historical Society) while on the school board and the water tower while on the Gilbert Town Council. His name can be found on many plaques adorning Gilbert schools (growing from 3 to more than 30), as well as municipal buildings and other projects completed during his tenures.


Beyond his many professional accomplishments, he will be most remembered for the friendships that he cherished, the love he shared and the twinkle in his eye when he pulled off a great joke.


Thanks to the wonderful caregivers at American Groves, Aegis Home Health and Hospice and many other nurses and doctors over the last few years. We so appreciate the love and friendship (and often, patience) with dad.


1959 - Married to Sylvia Ann Crosby. Grant (Keri), George (deceased 1974), Gerry (Michelle), Dona (Scott) and Sarah (Tom). 19 Grandchildren and 15 Great-Grandchildren 


1986 - Married to Mary Jane Maas (deceased 2012). Dan (Jeannie), Chris, Lani (Wade) and Paul (Terry). 11 Grandchildren and 9 Great-Grandchildren.


2018 - Married to Christine Wilkins. Carly (Corey), Nikki (Isaac), and Beau (Darcy).  9 Grandchildren and 3 Great-Grandchildren.


Celebrations of Don’s life:

Monday 20 Nov 2023
6:00 PM -– 8:00 PM Family and Friends Visitation at the Whitney & Murphy Bueler Mortuary in Chandler
-– 14 W Hulet Drive, Chandler (directly north of Chandler High School)
Tuesday 21 Nov 2023
10:30 AM Family and Friends Visitation at The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints
-– 777 E Elliot Rd, Gilbert (Corner of Elliot and Lindsey)

  11:30 AM Funeral Service at The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints
-– 777 E Elliot Rd, Gilbert (Corner of Elliot and Lindsey)
12:30 PM Refreshments and sharing of stories
1:30 PM Police Escort from Church to Valley of Sun Cemetery
2:00 PM Inurnment at Valley of the Sun Cemetery (for Close Friends and Family)
-– 10940 East Chandler Heights Rd, Chandler

Funeral Service will be streamed at

In lieu of flowers please consider a gift to the Gilbert Historical Museum or a humanitarian effort. (Or put pipes on your car or truck. Or play a practical joke on someone you love.)

To order memorial trees or send flowers to the family in memory of Donald Lee Skousen, please visit our flower store.


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