At home in the Heights with Tony and Kathy Skettle
The Heights is full of great people—they knit us together, make us feel good, and serve our community. They are trustworthy, generous, and a positive reflection of this place we call home.
Tony and Kathy Skettle are two of these people.
They moved to Bushnell Road in University Heights in the spring of 1978. They raised four children—Nicole, Karl, Genevieve and Timothy—who grew up going to church at Gesu, playing outside until the streetlights came on, and lifeguarding at Purvis Park Pool. All graduated from Cleveland Heights High School and three earned degrees from Ohio University. And three are now homeowners in Cleveland Heights.
Asked what they liked most about raising a family on Bushnell Road, Tony cited the proximity to schools, stores, library, recreation center and church.
Kathy praised the neighbors, and said, “We’ve always been blessed with the friendliest and most-caring neighbors.”
Bushnell Road is also home to the family business, Skettle Electric Inc. Skettle Electric is an electrical contracting company that is well regarded among residents, business owners and building departments in the Heights and beyond. Tony and son Karl are both licensed electricians. Kathy is at the helm of operations and does the books. Having grown up in the family business, any one of the Skettle children can answer the phone and knows what to say and do. Many of the business’s customers are like family. So are Tony and Kathy’s employees who, in good weather, are invited to stick around after a day’s work to enjoy a beer.
Tony Skettle grew up the second oldest of six children in a hard-working Slovenian, German and Irish family in Lakewood. His dad was a tool and die maker. After high school, Tony attended vocational school to become an electrician, and took a job working for the Cleveland Electric Illuminating Company in overhead and transmission lines. Scaling towers in steel-toe boots proved Tony’s comfort level with higher altitudes. He is a licensed pilot with a recent enthusiasm for refurbishing and building ultralight aircraft.
Kathy Skettle, née Hartman, is originally from Garfield Heights. She was a lifeguard, like her children, and the oldest of nine children in a predominantly German and Bohemian family. Her grandparents lived with her growing up. As tailors, they influenced Kathy’s choice of major in home economics from Kent State University. Over the years, Kathy has made dozens of dresses and veils for weddings, communions, proms and graduations. As a homemaker, she’s delighted her family with homemade furnishings and a passion for cooking and gardening. Kathy chronicles her gardens, weather events, and life’s moments in between, in hand-written journals.
Tony and Kathy recently celebrated their 41st wedding anniversary. This year also marks another impressive milestone—30 years in business for Skettle Electric.
What’s the secret to 30 years in business? “My great business partner, Kathy,” Tony said.
“Being a community-oriented business is the key to our success, said Kathy.
Tony and Kathy enjoy dining out in the neighborhood, supporting local businesses, taking road trips, and spending time with their children, grandchildren and extended family. There is always an event, a game, or a good cause calling their names. Five of their six grandchildren are school age, and currently attend Cleveland Heights High School, Roxboro Elementary School and St. Paul’s Cooperative Preschool.
As the weather warms and the ground softens, Tony and Kathy will be enjoying their family, employees and good neighbors on Bushnell Road—and breaking ground for this year’s garden.
Nicole Tugeau is the Skettle's eldest daughter. She’s lived her whole life hearing friends and strangers remark, “I love your parents!” She loves them, too. Tugeau lives in Cleveland Heights with her husband and three children. Read more about Skettle Electric’s 30 years in business at www.skettleelectric.com.