Memorial fund set up for Gordon and Joyce Skinner

CARROLL – A memorial fund honoring Gordon and Joyce Skinner has been established.

Donations currently are being accepted at any M&T Bank location to honor the town of Carroll residents, both of whom were found dead inside their residence last week. The fund will be used to place a memorial, possibly a bench atop a concrete slab, between two weeping cherry trees.

A location for the trees and memorial have not been announced, but organizers are looking at Willis Hale Town Park or the nearby Veterans Memorial park in Carroll. The trees have been purchased, according to Patty Ekstrom, neighbor of the Skinners.

Gordon, 66, and Joyce, 59, were discovered inside their burning Wheeler Hill Road residence by firefighters. Four men are in Chautauqua County Jail in connection to the homicides.

“We want this memorial to be about Joyce and Gordy,” Ekstrom said. “They were such a big part of this community with their kindness and caring. They always were spreading their kindness.”

Town officials would need to sign off on the memorial before any work begins. A Parks Committee is scheduled to meet today.

“The memorial depends on the funds that we receive,” said Ekstrom, a member of the parks committee. “The more we get the bigger it will be.”

More than 300 residents were present Sunday evening at the Frewsburg park for a prayer vigil remembering the Skinners. Organizers said they were impressed with the turnout.

“There were just so many people that showed up,” said Pastor Ron Lemon of the Koinonia Christian Fellowship. “I believe there was some healing going on. And I think that was important after what happened.”

Questions regarding the memorial are being directed to the town of Carroll clerk’s office.