Jennifer (Skakal) Howe Luther, of Hornell

HORNELL-Jennifer (Skakal) Howe Luther, 75, of 59 Glen Ave., Hornell died Thursday morning (May 3, 2018) at St. James Mercy Hospital following a long illness.

Born January 11, 1943 in Buffalo, NY, she was the daughter of Otto and Jennifer (Withey) Skakal.

Jennifer was a graduate of Hornell High School, the 1962 Nurses Aide Training Class of St. James Mercy Hospital and the International Business Training Institute of Buffalo in 1965.

She was employed in the late 1950’s as a tray & cleaning girl at St. James Hospital and also at Mattie’s Soda and Lunch. She had also worked at the Collegiate Restaurant in Alfred, and Batavia Downs Track Kitchen, transferring to Buffalo as a manager of a Deco Restaurant in 1964. She returned to Hornell in 1967 to work as a nurse’s aid at St. James Hospital.

In partnership with her former husband, Douglas Spencer, she ran flower Haven Greenhouse & Florist in Canisteo from 1968 until the flooding of 1972 caused by hurricane Agnes. She had also worked at the former Harris Nursing Home and other health care facilities throughout the years.

Jennifer was a former member of the Junior Chamber of Commerce and the Fraternal Order of Eagles. She served as assistant Den Leader for Troop 20 Cub Scouts from 1976 – 1983 and also Troop 20 Cub Scouts day camp crafts instructor. She was a member of Maple Leaf Cootiettes #228 – writing the club news articles since 1980 and serving as secretary for several years and also as club president from March 1998 until March 2000. Since 1994, she was the Supreme Cootiettes V.A.V.S. representative at Bath VA Hospital and also served as a Bath VA volunteer. Jennifer also transported many people to many hospitals and doctor’s appointments over a 30 year span.

Her interests were vegetable & flower gardening, crocheting, cooking, baking and canning. She also enjoyed genealogy and corresponding with many relatives, located while searching for her family in 1964 and her family roots in 1998. She was one of the “lucky ones” to be accepted back and know the love of two families.

Jennifer is a life member of the VFW #2250 Ladies Auxiliary, Moose Lodge #210, Hornell Association, BPOE #364, and the Arkport American Legion.

On June 25, 1977, she married Leo J. Luther who survives. In addition to her husband survivors include 2 sons, Michael (Amy Payne) Spencer of Hornell and Scott Alan Spencer of Petersburg, VA; granddaughter, Bridgette Jeanette Spencer of Richmond, VA; two brothers, William (Jacqueline) Skakal of Irving, NY, and Donald (Patricia) Howe, of Hornell; her sister-in-law, Arlene Howe of Hornell; her brothers-in-law & sisters-in-law, Thor & Beverly Luther, Dorothy Tiede, Stephen & rose Luther and Patrick & Julie Luther; many very dear nieces, nephews, great nieces and great nephews, cousins, and several people with whom she was a “2nd mom”.

She was preceded in death by her parents, 2 sisters, Rose Getti and Viola LaPonia; 3 brothers, Robert Skakal, Gerald Skakal and Lewis Howe; 2 step fathers, LJ Howe, Sr. and Paul Warriner; and an infant son, Lewis Donald Howe.

Preferring others remember her in their own way, at Jennifer’s request there will be no calling hours. Private services will be held at the convenience of the family.

Funeral arrangements are in care of the Dagon Funeral Home, 38 Church St., Hornell, NY.

Jennifer’s family request that in lieu of flowers, memorial contributions in her name may be made to an organization of their choice or by donating a few hours of time helping their fellow mankind.

To leave an online condolence or share a memory, visit