Bessie Marie was born to John Kenneth and Mary May Underhill in Summit, Oregon. She joined sister, Maxine Mary and brother, John Kenneth Junior. She and her family lived in Chitwood, Oregon for a few years during which time she went to first grade at Eddyville, Oregon.

Bessie Skelton

The next move was back to Summit, where she finished her grade school years. She was taken by bus to high school in Philomath, Oregon for four years. Her family lived on a farm at Summit where she learned many valuable lessons. She surrendered her life to the Lord during that time and enjoyed fellowship in the little church at Summit.

Bessie attended Oregon State College for one year before marrying Harlan Skelton in 1945. She lived in Philomath and worked in Corvallis while Harlan spent time overseas with the Marines. Two children were born to Bessie and Harlan, Judy Marie and Roger Paul. They spent twenty years living in Corvallis and the last 14 years at Dallas Retirement Village in Dallas, Oregon.

Bessie took oil painting classes from Carol Parnell in 1989 and enjoyed several years of painting pictures. She and Harlan spent some winter months as snowbirds in California and Arizona. The Lord blessed them with 77 years of marriage which they celebrated April 8, 2022.