Obituary: Richard Francis Skelly, 78

Richard Francis Skelly, 78, of Key Largo, Florida died Thursday, July 21, 2016. He was born to the late Frank and Mary Skelly, Dec. 14, 1937, in Oceanside, NY. Dick graduated from Wethersfield (Connecticut) High School in 1956 attending Nichols Junior College in Massachusetts before transferring to American University from which he graduated in 1960. He married Barbara Friemonth in 1964 in Glasgow, Mo. The couple made their home in Wilton, Conn., for many years before relocating to Key Largo and Nantucket in 1996.

Dick began his career in sales with General Electric in Kansas City before relocating to the Northeast and eventually joining Clairol where he became Vice President for Sales in 1967. In 1971, he left Clairol to form his own company, R.F. Skelly & Associates, a manufacturer’s representative firm. The company prospered, eventually acquiring Meteor Associates in 1982. In 1994, he sold the firm to Pezrow Corp. and retired briefly before serving as CEO of Bionaire, a Canadian manufacturer of air purification products, ahead of its acquisition by the Rival Company.

An avid golfer and an inveterate joiner, he was involved in many organizations and clubs throughout his life. As in his business career, he gravitated toward leadership roles in several clubs including service as President of the Weston Field Club and the Connecticut Golf Club and Chairman of the Board for the Ocean Reef Club.

Dick is survived by his wife of 52 years, Barbara, his two children and their spouses, David Skelly (Kealoha Freidenburg) of Madison, Conn., and Megan Skelly (Michael Rovner) of New York, N.Y., his sister, Anne Marie Iszard, as well as his three grandchildren, Aidan, Nathaniel and Maxine.

A memorial service will be scheduled at a future date.

In lieu of flowers, gifts can be made in memory of Dick in support of the following organizations that were so helpful to him this past year and a half:

  • The Mass General Hospital Cancer Center — Checks can be made to Massachusetts General Hospital — C/O Development Office, Attn.: Sarah Christensen, 100 Cambridge Street, Suite 1310 Boston, MA 02114; or visit

  • The Ocean Reef Medical Center, 50 Barracuda Lane, Ocean Reef Club, Key Largo, FL 33037

  • The VNA & Hospice of the Florida Keys, 92001 Overseas Highway, Tavernier, FL 33070 Attn.: Kim; or visit