By Joshua Benton
Blade Staff Writer
Janet Skeldon, mother of Toledo city councilwoman Tina Skeldon Wozniak whose loves included her family, her hometown, and baseball, died yesterday at Mrs. Wozniak’s home of complications from respiratory disease. She was 74.
Born and reared in Toledo, Mrs. Skeldon attended Libbey High School. It was there she met her husband of 26 years, Ned Skeldon, who became an influential area Democratic politician.
One love the Skeldons shared, and passed on to their five children, was baseball. Mrs. Skeldon was a lifelong fan of the Tigers and almost never missed a game, either on television or the radio.
When she was taken to the hospital Friday, the first thing she wanted from home was her radio so she could keep up with the Tigers.
“Almost every visitor came up to her and said, `How are the Tigers doing?’ and, `When are they gonna win some more games?”‘ Mrs. Wozniak said.
For his part, Mr. Skeldon helped bring the Mud Hens to Toledo in the 1960s; their stadium in Maumee is named in his honor.
“We’d go to the games, and my mother would explain baseball to me,” Mrs. Wozniak said. “That’s what I remember about my childhood. It was such an all-American thing to do.”
Mrs. Skeldon spent most of her life as a homemaker – she was known for her soup – but worked about 10 years at the Lion store in Southwyck Shopping Center.
Her biggest passion, even greater than baseball, was her five children. She spoke with them by phone or in person almost daily and was always there for them in times of need, they said.
When Mrs. Wozniak entered the political arena, she often would turn to her mother to get a read on how Toledoans might react to a proposal.
“She always had a read on something about to happen,” Mrs. Wozniak said. “She had great common sense.” For example, Mrs. Skeldon predicted that May’s sales tax vote to fund a new stadium for the Mud Hens would fail.
Her children, who have spread across the country, often offered Mrs. Skeldon to move in with them. But she always insisted on staying in Toledo.
“She always knew this was the best place,” Mrs. Wozniak said.
When she was told that Toledo had won the title of All-America City, “her eyes got as big as saucers, she was so thrilled,” her daughter said.
Surviving are a son, James Skeldon; four daughters, Sandy Lynch, Judy Balyeat, Debi Deeth, and Tina Skeldon Wozniak; a sister, Donna Tappan; 16 grandchildren, and four great-grandchildren.
Funeral services will be at 4 p.m. today at Our Lady of Perpetual Help Church, 2255 Central Grove Ave. There is no visitation. Arrangements are by the Coyle Funeral Home.
The family requests tributes to the Northwest Ohio Hospice Association.