Harold "Skip" Henry Needham

April 26, 1936April 8, 2020

Harold “Skip” Henry Needham Born, April 26, 1936 – Passed, April 8, 2020

Memorial Service has not been scheduled due to current Covid-19 Pandemic

Skip Needham, a 30 year veteran of the USAF and an instructor for 10 years with Boeing Company passed April 8, 2020. He had been recently diagnosed with pneumonia and dementia for several years.

He is survived by estranged wife, Jo Needham (Barthrop), son, Ron Needham, daughter, Shelly Passantino, and predeceased daughter, Susan Needham, and 11 grandchildren, great grand children and sibling, Ida Mae Close and Bob Needham.

Skip was born in Pennsylvania on April 26, 1935. He attended schools in Ligonier and participated in activities in local area and always helped family and neighbors with various projects, along with his dad. Hunting was enjoyed by him and dad.

Skip joined the Air Force in 1954 and was sent to Nellis Air Force Base, Las Vegas, Nevada for training. He became a proficient jet engine mechanic. He was stationed in Las Vegas for 5 years.

In 1958 he married Jo Barthrop. He and Jo raised a lovely family – Ron, Shelly and Sue. They supported him as he was transferred to other military locations in many foreign countries – not always able to travel with him. His travels and military duties took him to France, Germany, Thailand, Spain and the Azores.

His expertise as a jet engine mechanic and extreme dedication to his job during the Vietnam war made him a valuable asset to his superiors.

He retired after 28 years with the prestigious rank of Chief Master Sergeant, a rank that few achieve in their military life.

He was employed by Boeing Co (McDonald Douglas) for 10 years as an instructor for Boeing planes. He traveled to several countries as instructor for Boeing. He retired in 1993 after recovering from throat cancer. He retired in 1982 from Norton AFB, San Bernardino. His love for family and friends were always a big part of his life.

For 34 years he has been a resident of Huntington Beach (Midway City, CA) along with his devoted partner, Doris Turner. Together, they have enjoyed traveling in their RV across the U.S. and Canada with friends. Special trips to Legonier, PA to spend time with family for 20 years and Skip and son, Ron, marched each year in the Ligonier Day parade. They were honored to be asked to raise the flag at the beginning of the ceremony, along with Skip’s nephews, Butch Ross and Justin Close. Ron is a retired USAF veteran of 25 years. The love and companionship was evident to all that Skip and Doris enjoyed each memory that they created.

Rest in peace, my friend and partner.

Doris Turner


No public services are scheduled at this time. Receive a notification when services are updated.


Harold "Skip" Henry Needham

have a memory or condolence to add?


May 8, 2020

Doris so sorry o hear about Skip. As u know i always enjoyed talking to u and him whenever u took him down to 555. I can only imagine how much u will miss him
nick berger

Doug Aucoin

May 7, 2020

Skip and Aunt Doris with Doris‘s nephew Doug Aucoin from San Diego and his sister - Doris’ niece - Michele Aucoin Cederquist from New York City, meeting in Oceanside.

Doug Aucoin

May 7, 2020

It was always my great pleasure to see the affection and devotion between Skip and my Aunt Doris, every time that I got together with them over the 28 years since I moved to San Diego. Their shared joy in activities such as their RV group, dancing, travel, and more was so apparent and wonderful to hear about. Skip was always upbeat and ready with funny jokes, and he never seemed to think in anything but a positive way. My Aunt Doris‘s devoted care to him through his illnesses is something that I admired deeply, and I am so happy that Skip had this good care. Rest in peace Skip.

Photo is of Skip, Doug Aucoin with Mocha, Paul Aucoin – Doris‘ older brother visiting from Maine, and my Aunt Doris in Oceanside.

Richard Baney

April 28, 2020

Skip loved life and his beautiful, companion throughout his life for 34 years, Doris. He had so much energy when I first met him. I often wondered how a man his age could get up and start dancing. He would hold her shoulders and dance to the rhythm of a song they both loved. Like Doris, he gave everyone the benefit of the doubt. He was overjoyed to remark, “I can fix that!” It was just his way of telling family that he loved them. We would say, “Let’s hit the road,” which meant a walk after a scrumptious meal at Doris’ or another family member’s home. He loved to talk about his military life and all the places he enjoyed and his travels with Doris. He would talk about all the funny comments they shared on the road with their R.V. group and, of course, all his variety of good jokes. I remember us playing on a nine hole, broken down, public course in Orange. The course was lined with homes out of bounds, horse stables and a variety of animals. One day when he was lining up his ball, I noticed a group of ravens making noises in the nearby tall Eucalyptus trees and during his back swing I said, “Boy, Skip, those ravens sure make a lot of noise.” At the same time, he struck the ball and his ball went far right, directly into the flock of ravens gathered high in the treetop. There must have been about 25 of them and they took flight. Surprisingly, no one laughed louder than Skip. When he stopped laughing, he said, “Good one.” Well, it was about 3 holes later that I was getting ready to drive my ball on a 3 par hole. As I slowly took my back swing, Skip mentioned, “Do you hear that burro braying (hee-haw)?” I swung my driver as hard as I could and hit a line drive out of bounds to the far right about 6” over the burro’s head. We both were rolling on the ground. We had some good ole times. His eyes would sparkle with sincerity when he smiled. Yes, he loved life and his beloved Doris, who took care of him until the very end. God bless the "Skipper."

Susan Grover

April 28, 2020

Susan Grover

April 28, 2020

Easter Service with family

Susan Grover

April 28, 2020

Susan Grover

April 28, 2020

For the past 34 years, Skip has been an important part of our family's lives. Skip was always by my mom's side. Whether it was touring the states in their motor home with friends or running errands around town, they went everywhere together. Skip attended every family function and every celebration. He loved my mom dearly and loved being around friends and family. Skip was a great life partner, companion and friend. He had a fun sense of humor, always ready with a joke, was patient, kind and thoughtful and loved to dance! So perfect for my mom. Skip would help anyone in need, with anything. He was quick to say "Sure, I'll help" before you could even really ask. He would see a need and jump in with both feet! Skip will surely be missed and never replaced. We will always remember him with great love and affection. Skip was a true officer to be respected and honored and a gentleman to be cherished and loved. Forever in our hearts...


April 22, 2020

I have such wonderful, warm memories of Skip! Always a gentlemen, always fun and always a smile. From the time Skip came into our family, he was kind and welcoming. My mom and I enjoyed him and just thought the world of him! He always shared a joke or few with me (and I always enjoyed them). I know he made my Aunt Doris very happy and I am so thankful they had each other. I will definitely miss his smile and his kindness. I am sure he is lighting up heaven with his joy!!!

Love, Diane

Carol Mark

April 20, 2020

The delight of knowing Skip was too short. George and I had such fun with Skip and Doris at Mule Days and wonderful times when we were together with our "Family of Friends." What a gift to have been Skip's friend, he was special. We all loved his jokes and just being together was fun. I can remember being at Mule Days and we danced until we were tired, but not Skip. He just kept on! He and Doris are what love is all about: sharing, caring, accepting each other and understanding. I am blessed to have both as dear friends, "see you later alligator, in a while crocodile." Love my dear Doris and blessing daily. Carol Mark


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