James Howard Skipper

July 27, 1933 ~ February 23, 2022 (age 88)


Bennettsville, SC

James Howard Skipper, 88, passed away February 23, 2022, at Carolina Pines Hospital in Hartsville, SC, after a lengthy illness. He had been a resident of Morrell Nursing Home in Hartsville, SC.

Born July 27, 1933, in McColl, SC, he was a son of the late John Thelbert Skipper and Lillie Mae Grant Skipper.  James Howard Skipper was loved by many from the time he was young. He delivered newspapers as a kid. He worked at the local drugstore in McColl when he was a teenager and young adult. He told his children that he helped named some of the streets in McColl. Before he got his driver’s license, he courted his sweetheart Hazel by passenger train called the Boll Weevil from McColl to Dillon. His eyes would light up when he shared this story which led to his love of trains. Later they married and moved to Bennettsville. He served his community as a Dixie Youth Baseball Commissioner and volunteered at Marlboro Park Hospital for several years. He was employed by Oak River Mill for over thirty years. His love for his Oak River family continued under the supervision of him and close friend, Bill Ratliff, through their retirement dinners. He was a member of Thomas Memorial Baptist Church where he had served as deacon and Chairman of the Usher Committee. James has influenced many children and adults over the years through his love for people and talking about God. He always had a way of making others feel special. His love for the holidays was shown in the way he decorated his yard.  He was so proud of his children and grandchildren.  One of his greatest highlights was going to the MCHS football games and sitting in the press box with Mike, Michael, and Steven. The family also enjoyed watching old westerns together. He served as a great role model for his children and others through putting God and family first. His legacy is a blessing. It seemed he would forever stay young. Now Heaven is his reward!

James is survived by his wife, Hazel Hayes Skipper of over 64 years; son, Steven Skipper; and daughters, Susan Williams (Dairl) and Sandy Odom (Alexander); daughter-in-law, Melissa Skipper; grandchildren, Mandi Wood (Josh), Michael Skipper, Kayla McClary (John Mark), Zachary Odom (Hope), Spencer Odom (Jacklyn), Kristin Edwards (Robert), Drew Williams (Hannah); great-grandchildren, Hayden, Kailey, and Easton Wood, Zeke James Odom(named after his great-grandfather);  sister, Lela Mae “Midge” Milligan; and many nieces and nephews that he loved dearly.

He was preceded in death by his son, Michael Howard Skipper; parents listed above; brother and sister-n-law, John “Jr.” Thelbert Skipper, Jr. and Esther Mae “Maybell” Skipper; brother, Ellie Boyd “Toby” Skipper; sister, Edith Swartz; great-granddaughter Ryleigh Grace McClary; and nephew, Billy Gene Skipper.

A funeral service will be held 3pm, Sunday, February 27, 2022, at Thomas Memorial Baptist Church, officiated by Revs. Thomas Buck and Josh Hilton. A visitation will be held 5-7pm, Saturday, February 26, 2022, at Burroughs Funeral Home.

Memorials can be made to Thomas Memorial Baptist Church, 308 W. Main Street, Bennettsville, SC 29512 or First Pentecostal Holiness Church of Bennettsville, 457 Salem Road, Bennettsville, SC 29512.

Online condolences may be made @

Burroughs Funeral Home is honored to assist the Skipper family.

To send flowers to the family or plant a tree in memory of James Howard Skipper, please visit our floral store.


February 26, 2022

5:00 PM to 7:00 PM
Burroughs Funeral Home
688 Beauty Spot Road East
Bennettsville, South Carolina 29512

Funeral Service
February 27, 2022

3:00 PM
Thomas Memorial Baptist Church
308 West Main Street
Bennettsville, South Carolina 29512

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