Walter “Skeeter” Knee was a force to be reckoned with in Winchester. He was generous, he was dedicated, and he certainly knew how to win friends and influence people. Skeeter passed away on March 13, 2021, after a lifetime of serving his community and NW Works specifically.
Skeeter was involved with NW Works in the company’s infancy, if not from its inception. He was close friends with two of our founding members, Susan Dawkins and Jack Ireland. Even before his beloved grandson Benji started coming to NW Works, Skeeter was supporting the organization. He joined our Board of Directors and served as our board chair from 1989 to 1991. Even after leaving the board he remained committed to the organization, helping to make Thanksgiving Dinners for clients alongside his wife, Nancy. He marshalled local elected officials in the city to serve meals during holiday parties for clients and staff. To paraphrase our former CEO John Brauer, Skeeter was the roots of our organization.
When John wanted to host his first fundraising event, Skeeter and Benji were the first to write checks to sponsor it. Then, Skeeter rallied the community to support the organization and make the fundraiser a success. He paved the way for so many of our future events and fundraising efforts.
Even during the Covid-19 pandemic, he made a point to bring Benji to NW Works for tours to make sure Benji remained connected to the organization. His concern for NW Works clients extended beyond his grandson too. Skeeter was known to hear of a concern from a client or parent, and personally advocate for them with whichever CEO was running the company. He pushed for NW Works to be the best organization it could be and we are forever grateful for his contributions. He will be greatly missed by all in our community.