It is easy to figure out why this obituary caught my eye. A well-known, local county line road, bordering Oceana and Muskegon counties is named after this gentleman. Now I know why....
From 19 Feb 1914 Fremont Times Indicator.
REP. RUFUS F. SKEELS DIED LAST FRIDAY
Oceana County Representative Was Prominent In Western Michigan Politics for Fifteen Years
The death of Representative Rufus F. Skeels, of Oceana county, occurred last Friday morning in Hart, after a two years' illness from Bright's disease. About two weeks before his death Mr. Skeels' condition became serious and his eyesight was affected.
Mr. Skeels was at one time a resident of Fremont and studied law in the office of the late A. F. Tibbitts. he was admitted to the bar in Newaygo county. He was born on a farm in Oceana county and received his education in the Flint Normal and the Muskegon Commercial colleges, and graduated from the law department of the University of Michigan in 1894.
Mr Skeels was prosecuting attorney of Oceana county for 10 years, quitting that office four years ago. In 1912 he was elected to the state legislature and although a first termer he became a leader of the Progressive element.
He was married in June, 1895, to Bertha Millen, of Oceana county, and besides his wife, three daughters survive him.
The funeral service was held Tuesday from the Congregational church in Hart.
That explains the road's name. And to have accomplished so much, in such a brief time. Only 40 years old at his death, and he spent 14 at least in public service as prosecutor and state legislature. I'm glad to have discovered the story behind Skeels Road.