Ed Skehan, WWII Vet & GHTBL Hall of Famer, Passes at 102

The family of Edward J. Skehan (1918-2020) announced his peaceful passing at his home and surrounded by his children on March 30, 2020. He lived to be 102. Ed Skehan was a retired Hartford firefighter, a World War II veteran, father of eight children and grandfather to more than 30 grandchildren. He was born and raised in Hartford, as son to Edward J. and Beatrice (Lewis) Skehan and lived in the city for over 60 years. He graduated from Hartford Public High School in 1937 and Hartford State Technical College in 1939.

Ed Skehan graduate of Hartford Public High School, 1937.

Skehan was an outfielder at Hartford Public High School and won multiple conference titles. In a game against LaSalette, Skehan led off with a home run and contributed two hits in an 8 to 4 win over the crosstown team.  He developed into a utility man who could play any position for HPHS Hall of Fame Coach Jimmy Woodworth. Skehan also suited up to play amateur baseball in multiple leagues for over 15 years. Most notable were the Greater Hartford Twilight Baseball League and the East Hartford Twilight League where he became an outstanding defensive first baseman, a perennial all-star and a .300 hitter.

Ed Skehan, Pope Park Drug, Keene Senior Twilight League, Hartford, 1938.

Ed Skehan’s Amateur Baseball Career

– 1935 to 1937, Hartford Public High School.
– 1936, Lincoln Dairy, Hartford Twilight League.
– 1936, Prospect Tavern, East Hartford Twilight League.
– 1937 to 1941, St. Lawrence O’Toole, Catholic League.
– 1937, East Hartford Red Sox, East Hartford Twilight League.
– 1938, Pope Park Drug, Keene Senior Twilight League.
– 1941, Conrose All-Stars, East Hartford Twilight League.
– 1942, Finasts, East Hartford Twilight League.
– 1943, Owen’s All-Stars, East Hartford Twilight League.
– 1944, Joe Laing’s Spartans, a Hartford Twilight team turned semi-pro club based in Colt Park.
– 1948 to 1950, Hartford Fire Department.
– 1985, Inducted to GHTBL Hall of Fame (Gold Glove Division).

St. Lawrence O’Toole baseball team, 1937.
Hartford Fire Department baseball team, 1948.

Ed Skehan met his wife of 74 years, Margaret “Peg” Skehan at G. Fox, at their first job out of high school. They were married in 1942, shortly before Ed was drafted into the Army. He served with the 82nd Engineer Combat Battalion as a radio operator, or as he put it, a “the dot and dash man.” In 1946, Skehan returned home. Peg and Ed Skehan settled in Hartford’s southwest end. After working as a part-time firefighter in previous years, Ed Skehan became a full-time employee at the City of Hartford Fire Department. 

Peg and Ed Skehan, 1950 (c.)

In the 1940’s and 1950’s, the fire department was not only an emergency rescue service, but also a distributor of basic necessities. He would serve as a Hartford firefighter for 25 years. He fought the infamous fires at St. Patrick’s Church and St. Joseph’s Cathedral and later the 1961 fire at Hartford Hospital, where 16 people perished. He retired in 1968 as father to four boys and four girls. While in the department he played on their highly competitive baseball and bowling teams.

Ed Skehan with HPHS classmate, William H. Flanagan, 1960.
Ed Skehan, World War II Veteran, 2010.

Later in life, Skehan continued his passion for baseball, he took particular interest in politics and he was a fan of the television show “Antiques Roadshow.” He was inducted into the GHTBL Hall of Fame in 1986. In 2017, at the age of 99, Ed Skehan was the guest of honor at the GHTBL’s Camp Courant Kids Day at Dunkin’ Donuts Park.  The entire Skehan family celebrated their patriarch that day as Ed threw out the ceremonial first pitch. The following year, he turned 100 years old and was honored as an inductee into the Hartford Public High School Athletic Hall of Fame.

Ed Skehan tosses ceremonial first pitch at Dunkin’ Donuts Park, 2017.
Ed Skehan and family with GHTBL President Bill Holowaty (right), 2017.
The Skehan Family at Dunkin’ Donuts Park, 2017.
Ed Skehan inducted into the HPHS Athletic Hall of Fame, 2018.
Ed Skehan celebrates his 100th birthday, 2018.

The GHTBL is proud to have had Ed Skehan as long time contributor and we relay our deepest sympathies to the entire Skehan family.

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