Friends: Fallen Trooper Skinner was a 'sunup to sundown' hard worker

By Kelly McCarthy

May 30, 2014 Updated May 30, 2014 at 11:04 PM EDT

Kirkwood, NY (WBNG Binghamton) Stories about Trooper Christopher Skinner could be heard throughout every room at the Troop C barracks on Friday.

All stories shared a similar message: Trooper Skinner was one of the hardest workers in the group and had a "sunup to sundown" work ethic.

He may have gotten that work ethic by being raised on a farm and carrying that dedication with him through his life.

He was a volunteer fire fighter at the Five Mile Point Fire Department and was in the snowmobiling club. Skinner was the youngest member of the Broome County Farm Bureau Board of Directors and with every activity he was involved in, his friends said he brought an energy that was contagious.

"He had lots of energy and that's what this community is going to miss," said President of the Farm Bureau David Johnson. "He kicked us old guys in the butt to get us going."

"I'm hoping that there's a little bit of Chris in all of us still, his spirit, that we can all nurture and hope to grow," said Judi Whittaker, office manager at the Broome County Farm Bureau.

One of his closest friends in the state police, Trooper Matt Maciak, is someone he had known since high school. Both graduated from Chenango Valley, only four years apart.

Trooper Maciak said Skinner was a farmer at heart and had that "sunup to sundown" work ethic. Before reporting to duty with the state police, Skinner would get up and work on his hay farm. Then, after his shift ended at 6 o'clock, he would go back to the farm and work until dark.

"When I get back to work it's gonna hit me, I know," Maciak said, "because I'm not going to be seeing him out there and that's what's gonna suck the most, not having him there."

Maciak said Trooper Skinner was known for wearing the same pair of work boots... and wearing them every single day for years.

They were so worn out, the waterproof soles would let water in on rainy days, but since there was still some sole beneath his feet, he would not replace them.

His boss at Troop C headquarters in Sidney ordered new boots for him anyway and they are currently sitting on his office desk.

Those new boots will be on display at his funeral.

Trooper Skinner was on the force for 13 years and was working with the Traffic Incident Management Detail. He was 42 years old and leaves behind his fiance Surrena and his two children.

Trooper Maciak said Skinner and his fiance got engaged during a vacation in Hawaii. They were planning a wedding for July 19.

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