Elizabeth Veronica Skuba: March 22, 1965 – August 26, 2017. It is with profound sadness that our family announces after a difficult battle with cancer, the passing of our dear daughter, sister, and aunt, Elizabeth on August 26, 2017 at 52 years of age in her home in Mendham, New Jersey.
Elizabeth was born in Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada, the third child of Anne and Walter Skuba. As a child, Libby was outgoing and well-loved in our neighborhood. On any given day, she would be visiting with the senior couple next door, impressing local police officers on their break with her hula hoop skills, or assisting a neighbor with a task. As a child entrepreneur, Libby had the gift of a clear vision of what she wanted to accomplish and the steps necessary to achieve her goals. She used this gift to eventually build the life she loved in Mendham New Jersey. She showed a keen interest in animal care and found ways to improve the health care of the household pets.
Libby left Winnipeg for Saskatoon where she obtained her Doctor of Veterinary Medicine degree in 1994. She practiced small animal veterinary medicine in Saskatchewan and Utah from 1994 until 1999, when she returned to Canada to pursue a Masters of Veterinary Science and residency training as a Clinical Pathologist. She worked as a Clinical Pathologist for the Prairie Diagnostic Services at the University of Saskatchewan before joining Novartis Pharmaceuticals (Novartis Institutes for Biomedical Research) in 2004. She was promoted to Director of Clinical Pathology in 2009 and was the scientific director of the Clinical Pathology Laboratory after overseeing the development and growth of the Immunotoxicology Laboratory, with oversight of a staff of more than 12 scientists. She was responsible for critical contributions to numerous drug development projects that have had and will continue to have lasting effects on patients in the areas of oncology, cardiovascular health, infectious disease and other areas of critical unmet need. Her colleagues keenly feel the loss of her dedication, expertise and depth of knowledge. She was a fierce advocate for the development and growth of her laboratory scientists and a mentor to numerous university interns and new pathologists in the organization.
Libby’s passions included the performing arts and she savored the proximity her location in NJ afforded her to attend many musical and other productions on Broadway in New York. She loved to share this passion with visitors and friends. Libby loved reading and had deep affection for several fictional characters. Some of her favorites characters were Harry Potter, Buffy the Vampire Slayer, and Benedict Cumberbatch’s portrayal of Sherlock Holmes. She was an avid equestrian and had a strong bond with her horse, Q, named for the playful villain of Star Trek, the Next Generation. She enjoyed participating in show jumping and as with all her endeavors strived for perfection, always challenging herself to improve her performance.
Family and friends were important to Libby. She enjoyed travelling with family, and experiencing diverse cultures and activities that such travel offered with them. Her home was open to visiting relatives and friends. Those who visited her were always met with a warm welcome. She was a generous host, often going above and beyond to ensure they experienced the best her community and the region had to offer.
Libby was predeceased by her father Walter. She leaves to mourn in her passing, her mother Anne, her sisters Julie, Patty (Larry), niece Laurel (James), grandniece Catherine, beloved companion Percy, family and friends.
Libby and our family would like to thank all the wonderful people who shared their time, thoughts and support during this difficult time. We are grateful to Dr. Maithili Rao, and the Hospice Care Staff for the excellent care provided. We would also like to extend a special thank-you to cousins Mary Woloski, Cathy McDonnell, and friends Emily Meseck, Kelley Penraat, Eszti & KC Roemer for their caring support and assistance.
A viewing and service will be held at Bailey Funeral Home, 8 Hilltop Road, Mendham New Jersey, on Wednesday September 6, 2017, 2:00 to 4:00 p.m. The service will be held at 3:30 p.m. A reception will follow at Redwoods Grill and Bar, 459 E. Main St. Chester N.J. In lieu of flowers, donations can be made to a charity of your choice.