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Official Obituary of

Gerald Dunlap Skoning

August 29, 1942 ~ July 8, 2023 (age 80) 80 Years Old
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Gerald Skoning Obituary

Gerald "Gerry" Dunlap Skoning
August 29, 1942 - July 8, 2023 

Nationally recognized expert in employment law, civic leader, and
Vietnam-era Navy veteran, Mr. Gerald Dunlap Skoning, 80, died
peacefully among his family on Saturday, July 8 th , 2023, following a brief
illness. Mr. Skoning, known to his friends as Gerry, was born on August 29,
1942, the eldest son of the late Mr. & Mrs. Warren Gerald Skoning (Betty
Dunlap). A man of great intellect and self-discipline, he was a consummate
gentleman, who treated everyone with respect, spoke in measured tones,
and expressed gratitude for the many blessings and experiences that
comprised his extraordinary life.
Gerry often shared memories of what he described as an idyllic childhood
in Geneva, Illinois, where he attended The Harrison Street School and
played hockey along the Fox River. He went on to prep at Hotchkiss,
followed by enrollment at Princeton, where he majored in Philosophy and
excelled academically. He was a member of the Ivy Club and captain of the
hockey team, remaining an active alumnus and lifelong supporter.
After graduating with honors from Princeton, he went on to study law at
the University of Michigan. During this time, he also played for a semi-pro
hockey team. Made up of many players from the 1963 NCAA
championship Michigan team, they won the national amateur
championship in 1966.
He obtained his law degree in 1967, at which time America was embroiled
in the war in Viet Nam. A man of honor and duty, he immediately enlisted
in the Navy, where he served as Ship’s Legal Counsel, and was qualified
Officer of the Deck (under way), aboard the USS Independence. This
military experience further strengthened his keen sense of patriotism.
Following an honorable discharge, he re-entered civilian life and launched
a career practicing labor law at Seyfarth Shaw LLC in Chicago, where he
became one of the youngest members of the firm to be made partner.
Gerry distinguished himself by handling numerous landmark cases, many
of which went before the U.S. Supreme Court. He spent his entire career at
Seyfarth, retiring in 2005 after over thirty-five years of service.
A constant reader and gifted and prolific writer, his Op-Eds were regularly
published, notably in The Chicago Tribune, The Wall Street Journal and The
Palm Beach Post. He also regularly posted essays he entitled “Midnight
Musings”, which covered observations and opinions of everything from
politics to sporting events, celebrities misbehaving to the value of a penny.
To read a compilation of these works now would invoke his wry sense of
humor and a unique perspective on the state of our culture over the past
thirty years. As a holiday greeting, he distributed an annual compendium
of “The Wackiest Employment Law Cases of the Year”, which was
anticipated at least as much as the arrival of Saint Nick.
Gerry was an avid sportsman, who equally enjoyed a round of golf,
keeping score at a Cubs game, a vigorous squash or tennis match,
rollerblading on the lakefront or a cutthroat round of Hearts.
Atop all these accomplishments, he was just a great human being, who will
be missed by all who called him a friend. Many did.
Gerry is survived by his wife, Mary Kruchko Burnstine, with whom he
shared many years of love and laughter. Other survivors include his
brother Mark Skoning of Geneva, Illinois and Chang Mai, Thailand; his
sister, Elissa Bettcher of Wauconda, Illinois; his niece, Meredith Bettcher
and his grandnephew, Brooks Bettcher, of Batavia, Illinois. He will be
fondly remembered by Mary’s stepchildren, Nancy Gupta, John Burnstine
(Melissa) and Judy Wheatley; seven step-grandchildren and the extended
Kruchko family. He is also survived by a daughter, Harriet.
A memorial service is planned for 4pm, Thursday, September 7 th , at the
University Club of Chicago, 76 East Monroe Street.
In the spirit of Gerry’s generosity, gifts of your own choosing would be
welcomed. His favored causes include The Breakthrough Board, in support
of cancer research at the University of Chicago. Online donations can be
made at www.thebreakthroughboard.org, or by mail, to The Breakthrough
Board at 6200 N. Hiawatha Avenue, Suite 640, Chicago, Illinois 60646.
He was also a supporter of the Greater Chicago Food Depository, where
donations may be directed to www.chicagosfoodbank.org, or by mail at
4100 W. Ann Lurie Place, Chicago, IL 60632.
Arrangements are being handled by the Ott/Haverstock Funeral Chapel, 418 Washington St., Michigan City, IN    

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Memorial Service
September 7, 2023

4:00 PM
University Club of Chicago
76 East Monroe St.
Chicago, IL 60603


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