Susie Skelton, 69, a Missourian who came to Washington when her husband, U.S. Rep. Ike Skelton (D-Mo.), was elected to Congress in 1976 and who was active in several organizations representing spouses of public officials, died Aug. 23 at Research Medical Center in Kansas City, Mo., after suffering a heart attack at her home in Lexington, Mo.
Mrs. Skelton was born Susan Anding in St. Louis and grew up in Pacific, Mo. She received a bachelor's degree in education from the University of Missouri at Columbia in 1958. While at the university, she served as president of the Panhellenic Association and was a member of Delta Delta Delta social sorority.
When her husband was elected to Congress from Missouri's 4th District, Mrs. Skelton was elected president of the 95th Congress group, the organization representing spouses of members in their first session. She also served as treasurer for two years of the Congressional Club, an organization for congressional, Cabinet and Supreme Court spouses. During the 100th Congress, she became only the second Missourian to serve as president of the Congressional Club, presiding over one of the largest memberships in the history of the organization.
She served as president and vice president of International Club III, an organization of congressional and ambassadors' spouses, and spoke at orientation seminars for new members of Congress and their spouses. She also was a member of Congressional Families for Drug-Free Youth.
In 1990, she sponsored the nuclear-powered attack submarine USS Jefferson City and christened the ship with "a good splashing of Missouri River water" instead of champagne. She was one of two women to serve on the Centennial of the United States Submarine Forces Committee.
In Missouri, she served two consecutive terms as regent of the Lafayette-Lexington Chapter of the Daughters of the American Revolution and was a member of the Daughters of American Colonists, the United Daughters of the Confederacy and the P.E.O. Sisterhood. She also served on the Democratic State Committee in the 1970s and was a member of the board of trustees of William Woods University, from which her mother and aunt graduated.
Mrs. Skelton lived in McLean when Congress was in session but always considered Lexington home. In the small Missouri town, she was a Cub Scout den mother, a Sunday school teacher and an elder in the First Christian Church.
"She always took time to check on several older residents who were 'less fortunate,' " a longtime friend, Laveda Cross, told the Kansas City Star. "She never met a stranger. She was always so gracious, and she would stop and visit with everyone."
Survivors include her husband of 44 years, of Lexington and McLean; three sons, Navy Cmdr. Isaac "Ike" Newton Skelton V, stationed in Japan, Army Lt. Col. James "Jim" Anding Skelton of Columbia and H. Page Skelton of Chapel Hill, N.C.; and four grandchildren.