Dennis Skok 1957-2017
Dennis was born on November 28, 1957 and passed away on March 13, 2017 at the age of 59. Dennis grew up in Chewelah and was a proud graduate of the Class of ’76. He excelled in sports and lettered in wrestling, football and track. After high school, Dennis and his cousin Brian set off on a backpacking trip through Europe and visited family in both Yugoslavia and Scotland. That adventure ignited Dennis’ lifelong passion for travel.
Dennis attended college at WSU and graduated with a Degree in Political Science. After college, he was accepted into the Marine Corps, but could not finish the Officer’s Training Program due to a knee infection. He then volunteered to join the Peace Corps and was stationed in Zaire.
After returning from Africa, Dennis completed a year of Law School at Gonzaga, but his love of travel was a more powerful force. To see the world, he spent the next decade working, usually as a sous chef, in several U.S. National Parks (Mammoth in Yellowstone being his favorite). Dennis visited many countries including Egypt where he rode camels by the Great Pyramids, Israel where he lived in a kibbutz and also to tranquil islands in Thailand. Dennis was gifted in learning foreign languages and while taking Russian classes at the University of Washington, he suffered a bike accident that led to a future hip replacement (which he never complained about).
Dennis’s next adventure was teaching English Language classes overseas, first in Korea and then in Phnom Penh, Cambodia. Dennis was a little unconventional and used Rock-n-Roll lyrics from his homemade CD’s to help his students with their English! Dennis fell in love with Cambodia and made it his second home. He returned to Chewelah to visit our parents every couple years, but always returned to Asia. Dennis’ last trip home was in 2016 so he could attend his 40th High School Reunion.
He had so many great qualities! He was a voracious reader and had a tremendous mind. Dennis had remarkable recall and could effortlessly produce quotes from history’s greatest scholars to support his point of view or just to simply entertain. He was a great debater and loved to visit with family and friends. Dennis was truly loved by his family and will be incredibly missed, both here and in Cambodia, where he passed away with his girlfriend of many years by his side. Dennis was preceded in death by his parents, Phillip and Mary Skok, and leaves behind his brother Flip, and sisters, Margaret (Fitzgerald) and Sheila (Neale). We will miss him forever.