July 2, 1928 - June 26, 2017


Funeral Services will be 11:00 a.m. Thursday, June 29, 2017 at Trinity Lutheran Church, Sauk Rapids for Mary “Jean” Skuza, age 88, who passed away Monday at the St. Cloud Hospital. Rev. Paul Cloeter will officiate and burial will be in the church cemetery. Visitation will be after 9:30 a.m. Thursday at the church.

Ever since Jean was a little girl, she was always so easy going and fun to be around. She was born in Minneapolis, Minnesota at the onset of the Great Depression July 2, 1928. Her family was hit hard by the Depression, yet Jean with her brimming optimism and happy demeanor never thought that her family was poor. Jean’s parents, George and Loretta (Roach) Peart, raised five children: Robert, Ann, George, Lois and Jean (the youngest). Jean married Ellard Skuza on October 2, 1954 and he coaxed her into moving to Sauk Rapids, Minnesota. Her parents had already passed away by the time they were married. Ellard and Jean built a house along the Mississippi River and raised four children: Robert, Richard, Jennifer and Kristie. Ellard’s parents, Louis and Margaret Skuza, adored Jean and welcomed her as their daughter. Jean traveled with her family and extended family throughout the United States and ventured to Europe, Mexico, the Caribbean, Canada and South America. Jean was a progressive person who loved talking about politics and current events. She worked in nursing homes most of her adult life providing care to the elderly, and she recently worked with younger children in schools and shelters helping them with their education and everyday life through the Central Minnesota Foster Grandparent Program. She was known to teach elementary aged children how to play cribbage as a way to help them develop math skills. She loved her eight grandchildren so much, and they will all continue to benefit from their relationship with her. Jean was a member of the Trinity Lutheran Church in Sauk Rapids. Jean’s earthly journey ended on Monday, June 26, 2017 at 3:40 p.m. Only a month prior, Jean was planning her summer weekend getaways with her children. She lived in her own home and thrived in her independence. Jean squeezed every ounce of vibrancy out of her earthy life and passed away with her children at her bedside.

Jean is survived by her children, Robert Skuza (Kirsten) of Sartell, MN, Richard Skuza (Kay) of Gun Barrel City, TX, Jennifer Skuza (Romel Rivera) of St. Paul, MN, and Kristie Skuza (Tim Christoferson) of Sauk Rapids, MN; her grandchildren, Diana Skuza, Christopher Skuza (fiancé Samantha Lehmeier), Allyson Skuza, Brady Skuza, Cade Skuza, Elle Christoferson, Jack Christoferson and Sofía Skuza Rivera; her beloved nieces and nephews and their families; and countless close friends and extended family. Jean was preceded in death by her husband, Ellard Skuza on March 30, 1991; her parents, siblings, and in-laws.

We are so grateful for the outpouring of support during this difficult time by friends and family. We also appreciate the skilled care and sensitivity of the personnel at the St. Cloud Hospital Intensive Care Unit, Medical/Oncology and Neurology. Jean would appreciate memorials being directed to Anna Marie’s Alliance, Quiet Oaks Hospice House or Trinity Lutheran Church.