Abby Skinner Obituary, Death – Abby Skinner, the first full-time grant writer for the city of Erie, died. She was instrumental in securing tens of millions of dollars for Mayor Joe Schember’s team.
Skinner, 43, was discovered dead in her west Erie home just after 3 p.m. on Thursday, according to Erie County Coroner Lyell Cook. Cook stated that Skinner “appears to have died of natural causes” and noted that Skinner had a history of health issues. Skinner, a former assistant grant administrator for the city and former director of grants and research for the Erie Regional Chamber and Growth Partnership was tasked with assisting the city in gaining better access to regional, state, and federal grant monies that can be applied to a range of initiatives.
Skinner was hired not long after Schember assumed office in January 2018 and is credited with assisting the city in obtaining numerous grants from the federal, state, private, and philanthropic sectors for a variety of projects. According to city officials, Skinner’s work has since 2018 brought the city more than $80 million in grant funding. Her passing has shocked us all, Schember said. “She just worked so hard, and she did an amazing job for the city.
“If I heard about a grant opportunity and called or texted Abby, she usually knew about it and was already working on finding out more about it,” Schember said. She was a huge help in getting us the funds we needed. She was amazing, Spizarny remarked. “She assisted with every grant we’ve received over the last couple of years, totaling millions of dollars. She was very easy to work with and extremely knowledgeable about those funding systems, according to Spizarny.
Skinner graduated with a master’s degree in English from Indiana University of Pennsylvania and a bachelor’s degree in technical writing from Slippery Rock University. In a February 2018 interview with the Erie Times-News, Skinner discussed her qualifications for the position of city grant writer. “I’m shy and not a very aggressive person. However, I can be persistent if you start to approach the deadline, Skinner said. “Whenever new grant guidelines are published, I am eager to read them. I read the Federal Register and the Pennsylvania Bulletin, and I like all the rules and regulations,” Skinner said. “I enjoy research. It’s my style.”