Mary Skipp (Skippy) Phillips Winter of Naples Fla. and Guilford, Conn., died Sept. 23, 2020. She was 100.

She was born in New Haven, Conn., and graduated from Hillhouse High School and Albertus Magnus College, receiving her master’s in education from Southern Connecticut State University. During World War II she worked with a group of eight pioneering, college-educated  women, The Eight Bells, who researched substitutes for rubber needed during the war effort. All had earned degrees in science, which was uncommon in the early 1940s. Skippy was the last survivor of the Eight Bells. She was an early large frame computer programmer and later taught second grade in the Head Start Program.

She loved life and was greatly admired for her positive outlook and great sense of humor. She enjoyed visiting with friends and family and was the life of the party. In her earlier years, she was a Girl Scout co-leader of 60 girls in an active troop that went camping frequently in all kinds of weather. She has kept in touch with a core group of these girl scouts throughout her life.  She liked sitting by the campfire and did so on her last camping trip at the age of 96.

She was also a member of the Water Babies Monthly Luncheon group, an informal gathering of women who loved swimming and met at the Collier Athletic Club in Naples.

Skippy and her first husband Frank were married for 49 years and had three children: Mary Alice Hoogland and her husband Fred Hoogland of Guilford, Conn. and Naples Fla; Nancy Phillips and her wife Kathy Burton of Oak Bluffs, Limington, Me., and Naples Fla.; and the late Abigail Phillips  and her husband Paul Friedrichs and his current wife Jane Bernhardt of Exeter, N.H. She and Frank in the Spring Glen area of Hamden, Con., in Frank’s family homestead. After Frank died in 1999, Skippy married Ed Winter, an old childhood friend, and had 10 wonderful years together before he died in 2010.

Survivors also include stepchildren Chris Winter, Robert Winter, Sally Winter Steinmeir, Meg Winter, the late John Winter, Mary Winter and Peter Winter; five grandchildren; nine step grandchildren; and two great grandchildren.

She was predeceased by her parents, Daniel J. and Agnes Barry Skipp, brother Bart Skipp, sister Alice Skipp, daughter Abigail Phillips, among others.

A celebration of her life was held on her 100 birthday on July 8. Due to the pandemic, the family held a socially distanced party, toasting Skippy with champagne and sharing a neighbor’s wonderful lemon pound cake. Skippy was so happy at the party.

Due to the pandemic restrictions, there will be no traditional funeral or wake services at this time.

The family would like to thank Skippy’s primary care physician, Dr. Catherine Arnold, for her many years of care.

Donations can may be made to Albertus Magnus College, New Haven CT.