Speech professor dies after heart attack
A student recalls he made others “feel comfortable and genuine.”
Published: Tuesday, April 17, 2012
Updated: Tuesday, April 17, 2012 15:04
Speech communication Professor John Skinner, a full-time faculty member since 1984, died after suffering a heart attack this morning in his office in Room 129B of McAllister Fine Arts Center.
Public information officer Julie Cooper said his wife, speech communication Professor Suzanne Skinner, who shares an office with her husband, was with him when the heart attack occurred at about 9:45 a.m.
Cooper said a staff member immediately began CPR until EMS arrived. Seven emergency vehicles responded and parked on the south and north sides of McAllister.
Skinner was carried on a gurney to an EMS unit in Parking Lot 3 on the north side of the building and transported to Metropolitan Methodist Hospital two blocks from the southeast corner of this campus. Cooper said emergency personnel used a defibrillator.
He was pronounced dead at the hospital, Cooper said.
At about 10:30 a.m., students had gathered in the hallway near Room 105, the fine arts department office. At least one was crying.
“I overheard that someone had a heart attack,” computer networking sophomore Briana Gordon said.
“He had a way of making everyone feel comfortable and genuine like we were human beings,” speech sophomore Amy Oppy said.
She said the college should have 10 teachers like John Skinner in every department.
A sign posted on Room 127 of McAllister at about 12:30 p.m. today read, “Mr. Skinner’s classes are canceled for Tuesday, April 17, and Wednesday, April 18.”
The sign was removed by 2:30 p.m., and it was unclear whether his classes would meet with a substitute instructor.
Fine arts Chair Jeff Hunt declined to be interviewed.