Jesse Thomas Skidmore, 43, died Monday, Jan. 9, 2023, from complications due to cardiac sarcoidosis. Jesse was an amazing husband, father, son, grandson, and brother, as well as a dear friend, colleague, and mentor to many.
Jesse was predeceased by his father, David Skidmore, formerly of Iola, and grandfather, John Thomas. He is survived by his wife, Natalie, and their children, Sophia and John Skidmore; his mother, Marion Thomas; his sister, Erin Skidmore; his grandparents, Betty and Jerry Skidmore of Iola; and his grandmother, Christine Thomas.
A native of Berkeley, Calif., Jesse graduated from The Head-Royce School in 1997. He earned a bachelor of science degree in engineering physics from the University of California, Berkeley, in 2002. In 2018, Jesse earned a master of arts degree with the Highest Distinction in National Security and Strategic Studies from the U.S. Naval War College.
While at Berkeley, Jesse worked at Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory on the STAR (Solenoidal Tracker at the Relativistic Heavy Ion Collider) Detector and the Super-Kamioka Neutrino Detection Experiment projects. Then, as part of a UCB Physics Department research group, he conducted research in both astrophysics and solid state physics, and co-authored papers on superconducting sensors.
Jesse dedicated his professional career to safeguarding the nation. He recently completed 20 years of service in the U.S. Navy and was promoted early to Captain in the U.S. Navy Reserve. A submariner, Jesse served at sea as Assistant Engineer and Assistant Weapons Officer aboard USS FLORIDA. Before leaving active duty, he also worked as the International Programs Officer at Commander, Task Force SIX NINE, in Naples, Italy. Jesse continued his military service in the U.S. Navy Reserve, completing a deployment to Afghanistan and commanding four units, including, most recently, the Navy Reserve command for U.S. Special Operations Command, North.
In 2010, Jesse and his family settled in Washington, D.C., where, in his civilian career, he worked for the Department of Defense and the Intelligence Community. His positions included the Navy Staff at the Pentagon and Project Officer at the United States Naval Research Laboratory. Jesse was best known professionally for his enthusiasm and perseverance in bringing disparate groups of people together across the government to protect the nation’s interests.
When not working, Jesse enjoyed traveling, sipping bourbon and Italian wine, studying languages, playing guitar, running, working on his old BMW, camping, cycling, and reading. More than anything, Jesse loved soaking up precious moments with his beloved family and their pets and spending time with his dear friends.
The community will gather to celebrate Jesse’s life on Friday, Feb. 10, at St. Mark’s Capitol Hill Episcopal Church, Washington, D.C. Jesse’s committal service at Arlington National Cemetery will be held at a later date. In place of flowers, you may donate in Jesse’s name to the Special Operations Warrior Foundation at specialops.org, and/or the Foundation for Sarcoidosis Research at www.stopsarcoidosis.org.