Jack was born in Carlin, South Dakota, on April 17, 1927, to Walter and Ruth Carlin Skates. The family moved to Billings when he was 9.
Jack proudly served in the Navy during WWII. Upon returning to Billings, he met and married Doreen Knaub on April 10, 1948.
In 1952 the family moved to Cody, where Jack began his career at Steck’s IGA, and later went into partnership with Dick Steck. In 1971, Jack and Doreen purchased the War Surplus Store in downtown Cody, which later became Jack’s Sports & OK Hardware, “Everything under the Gun.”
One of his proudest accomplishments was being elected as mayor of Cody in 1993, he served two terms. He loved the town of Cody and serving the community.
Upon his retirement, Jack and Doreen enjoyed camping in their fifth wheel up the North Fork.
Jack was an active member of Trinity Lutheran Church, Cody Lions, Elks, VFW, American Legion, and served as a Fourth of July parade marshal for 20 years.
Jack loved to have family gatherings as often as possible; and loved being around his grandchildren and great-grandchildren.
He was preceded in death by his parents, his sisters Marge, Wanda and Doris and brothers Bud and Bill.
Jack is survived by his loving wife, of 68 years, Doreen; brothers, Bob (Lea) and Fred Skates; children, Mark (Debbie Clark), Marcie (Dale) Johnson, Kevin (Connie), Pam (Jim) Betters; 18 grandchildren and 29 great-grandchildren.
Jack enjoyed life, meeting new people, promoting Cody, taking pack trips to the mountains, and Wednesday coffee sharing stories with his cronies. He was dearly loved and will be sorely missed.
Public viewing is Tuesday Nov. 8, from 2-3 p.m. at Ballard Funeral Home. Funeral services will be Wednesday Nov. 9 at 11 a.m. at Trinity Lutheran Church, graveside services to follow at Riverside Cemetery. Memorials may be made in Jack’s name to Trinity Lutheran Church, 3401 Sheridan Ave., Cody, WY, 82414 or The Cody Recreation Foundation, PO Box 1531, Cody, WY 82414.