Jeffrey “Jeff” Alan Skuza, Fargo, ND passed away on March 11, 2014 at the age of 47. He was born April 22, 1966 in Minneapolis, MN to Thomas and Donna Skuza.

Jeff grew up in Becker, MN and graduated from Becker High School in 1984. He went on to earn his Criminal Justice degree from Minnesota State University Moorhead in 1988. While completing college he worked as a Loss Prevention Officer for Target Corporation and later at Nash Finch Corporation in Fargo, ND.  While working for Nash Finch he was transferred to Sioux Falls, SD in 1989.

On September 12, 1990, he met the love of his life, Sherrie Brown, of Dell Rapids. They fell in love on the dance floor that night. On September 28, 1991, they were united in marriage in Dell Rapids, SD and moved to Fargo, ND that week where Jeff began his Law Enforcement career with the Fargo Police Department on October 7, 1991.

Jeff started his 22 year career as a patrol officer on the north side of Fargo. For several years during this time he served as a Field Training Officer (FTO) for numerous trainees. He was promoted to Sergeant in January 2001. As a Sergeant, he supervised Patrol, the Training Facility, and Investigations. He also served as Public Information Officer. He was a founding member of the Peer Assistance Crisis Team (PACT). PACT is a group of individuals with representation from all Emergency Services that helps emergency responders deal with stressful events. From 2006-2007 he sat on the Board of Directors for the Red River Children’s Advocacy Center. Jeff was a key individual in fighting the floods in Fargo.  Jeff was nominated in 2009 for “Police Officer of the Year”. In July 2010 he traveled to Quantico, VA to attend a 10 week program at the FBI National Academy. He graduated from the 242nd Academy on September 17, 2010. On March 21, 2011, Jeff was promoted to Lieutenant. In March 2012, Jeff received a letter from the Secret Service for his support and assistance to them during a visit from Presidential Candidate Mitt Romney.  As a leader, Jeff always wanted to recognize and support his officers. He has been a long-term member of the National Fraternal Order of Police and Charter Member of the North Dakota Red River Valley Lodge.  Jeff coordinated the start of the Crisis Intervention Team (CIT) program within Fargo Police Department. He was involved in the regional coordination of the Regional CIT Team.

Although he was very dedicated to his job, the most important aspect of his life was his family. As the oldest child, he was always helpful and protective of his siblings and his parents. When he had a family of his own, he continued to be just as dedicated.  Jeff stated many times that being a father was the best job in the world. He cherished the time he was able to spend with his boys, especially outdoor activities such as fishing, canoeing, and hunting. As a family, they enjoyed quality time spent together at their seasonal lake site in Northern Minnesota. They enjoyed many family trips over the years, including a trip to Australia in 2003.

Jeff is survived by his wife of 22 years, Sherrie, two sons Travis and Nicholas, all of Fargo;  his parents, Tom and Donna Skuza, Alexandria MN;  his brother, Richard (Tracy), Sioux Falls, SD; his sister, Sally (Greg) Venema, St. Michael, MN; his grandmother, Dorothy Zoerb, Minneapolis, MN; uncle, Don (Jeanette) Zoerb, Palmer, AK; aunt, Dawn (Jon) Rasmussen, Kennett Square, PA; uncle Doug Skuza, Clear Lake, MN; his mother-in-law, Elaine Brown, Dell Rapids, SD; his father-in-law Earl Brown, Dell Rapids, SD; his brothers-in-law Tony (Rose) Brown, Dell Rapids, SD; Jeff Brown, Colman, SD; Dan Brown, Dell Rapids, SD; 14 nieces and nephews and many cousins.

Jeff is preceded in death by his grandparents, Arthur “Art” and Emma Skuza, and Donald W. Zoerb Sr, special friend, Troy Koskela, uncle, Dale Zoerb and aunt, Diane Thorson.  

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  1. Twin Cities MN
    I do not know your family but often attended Mass at Saints Anne and Joachim Catholic Church while I was teaching at ND
    SU and completing my Masters degree.

    I read of LT. Skuza’s passing while searching for the obituary of the son of some friends of ours from Fargo, whose son died the same week, having lost his battle with depression.

    I want you to know that I have been praying for your family daily, that God will comfort you and give you strength.

  2. Dilworth MN
    Sherrie,
    I was very sad to hear of Jeff’s death. I never met Jeff in person but I saw him on tv and thought highly of him. I have met you a couple of times and you worked with my wife Paula and my daughter Carrie. I lost Paula a year ago and I know it’s not easy to lose your spouse. God will give you the strength to get past this tragic event and your life will go on. . . it will be very different but it will go on. God’s peace be with you.

    Breck Wilson

  3. I know that words cannot truly express enough, but I am so sorry for your loss. I am praying for your family. What a wonderful father and member of our community.
    Sra. Petik

  4. fargo n.dakIts so hard at a time like this to think of the right words too say or use that could possibley help easy your pain. He was such a remarkable officer an human being who took his job serious but also had that senstive side to him. He will not only be missed by his family but by the community as well. Our thoughts an prayers are with you all. He defintly left his mark not only by being one of the BEST police officers but also with a beautiful family to carry on where he left off. from all the staff at Meican Village.

  5. Dell Rapids SDSherrie,
    Your entire family is in our prayers. May you feel the presence of Christ ever so close during this very difficult time. We are so sorry for your tremendous loss.
    Love,
    Brian & Kristine

  6. Sioux Falls SDOur Sincerest Condolences…On behalf of O’Gorman High School and the Skuza/Hansen SOFTBALLers you are in our Thoughts and Prayers.

  7. Fargo ND
    Jeff was been my direct Sgt. or Lt. for a majority of my career. I have always felt that Jeff was my biggest supporter in the police department. He had a special way of making people feel valued and important. I will deeply miss his leadership, friendship, sense of humor and his overall positivity. He left us too soon but his impact on me will stay for the rest of my life.

  8. Dell Rapids SDSherrie & Family,
    Praying that you may feel God’s loving arms wrap around you and hold you up, and that your hearts may be at peace one day. Cherish those memories and the beautiful years you were blessed to share! Continued love and prayers, Amy

  9. Fargo Our paths crossed at times while we both were doing our work for the community. He was there for me a couple times when I needed the squeeze on the shoulder and the “great job” “thanks”. You are a wonderful young man who is dearly missed. RIP my friend, I will miss those shoulder squeezes.

  10. I am sorry for the loss of Jeff, and my heart goes out to the entire family. We have all lost a wonderful man in our Community.

  11. Moorhead MnIt was a pleasure knowing and working with Jeff. He will be missed by so many. God bless Sherrie, Travis, and Nick.

  12. Moorhead MN
    I remember my very first police ride-a-long was with Jeff in the early 90s. I was just a teenager and was so thrilled to have the experience. I later got to know him professionally working for Cass County and serving as a CIT coach. Jeff will always be remembered as a great person and a great cop! My deepest sympathy goes out to his family, friends, and coworkers. May your cherished memories console you during this difficult time.

  13. Carson City NVSherrrie,

    Strength, healing and blessings to you and your boys now and in all the days that lie before you!

    Prayers and Love to you!

    ~jackie

  14. Fargo, ND
    I am so sorry to hear of Lt. Skuza’s passing. I hope that you can find strength and comfort in the love of your family. May it help you to know how many lives he touched and brightened with his kindness. Such a wonderful person will never be forgotten.

  15. West Fargo ND
    Skuza family,
    My thoughts and prayers are with you all during this very difficult time. I had the opportunity to work with Jeff over the last 10 years and he was always very professional. I even had the chance to take him and his son hunting a few years ago. He will be missed by all!

    Zach and Heather Messmer
    Fargo, ND

  16. Blackduck MN
    Elaine is a cousin of Tom & Doug Skuza. I am known as one of the Bartosiewski twins. Leonard Bartosiewski was my father, Fred & Minnie were my grandparents from Popple Creek, MN
    .

    Our cousin Dick & Bev Golembeck e-mailed me about the death in our family.
    We express our sympathy to the family and pray the Lord’s Blessing upon them.
    Elaine

  17. Long Beach MississippiSherrie and family, my prayers and sympathy are with you in this time of sadness. May you find comfort in your memories and consolation in your faith. And may Jeff be at peace in the glory of our God for all eternity.

  18. Alva OKEveryone who knew Jeff grieves deeply with you.
    I knew Jeff during my time as a reporter for The Forum. In fact, I first met him when I did a story about Fargo cops going through the academy in Bismarck. I liked him immediately and my fondness for him only grew over the years. He was a great cop, but more importantly, he was a deeply decent man — honorable, friendly, caring. And I can tell you, every reporter who worked with him shares those feelings.
    The word “tragedy” often is used cheaply, but Jeff’s death is the true definition of the word. The world in general and Fargo in particular are much poorer without him. The family is in my thoughts.

  19. Bemidji MN
    Sherrie and family,
    Words are inadequate to express my deep sorrow for your loss of husband and father. Jeff was was such a stand up guy in all aspects of his life. He will be sadly missed by many. Hugs to help you get through this difficult time.
    Carolyn

  20. Officer Skuza was an excellent cop. He helped my family many times and was always so kind and caring. I was shocked by his untimely passing. It is unbelievable. For all the good he has done he will no doubt live on in many hearts and be missed by many. I am sorry to Sherrie and his 2 sons for their loss. This is indeed tragic. RIP Officer Skuza you will be remembered.

  21. Philadelphia PennsylvaniaI met Jeff at the FBI National Academy in the summer of 2010. I am a huge Minnesota
    Vikings fan living in Philly and Jeff and I hit it off big time talking about the Vikings. We never lost touch and have emailed each other many times since graduating. Praying for the Skuza family during this incredibly difficult time.

  22. Dell Rapids SDDear Sherrie, Travis, Nicholas, and Family,
    Our deepest and heartfelt sympathy. Our hearts and prayers go out to you. Jesus loves you and so do we! May you each cherish the good memories you have of Jeff and talk about them in the days ahead. We are so very sorry for your great loss.

  23. I am a school bus driver from Becker. I have never met any of your family. Still my heart goes out to all family and friends of Jeff. I am very touched with how he served his community and fellow officers. Please except my sympathy and prayers for your strength and healing.

  24. My thoughts and prayers go out to Jeff’s family and friends at this difficult time. I got to know Jeff while working as a dispatcher at the Fargo PD and later the Red River Regional Dispatch Center. While I have not seen or spoken Jeff in several years, my memories of him are that he was a consumate professional and wonderful person. I truly am saddened to hear of passing.
    May God bless you during this time.

  25. Moorhead MN
    On behalf of the Moorhead Police Department, as fellow brothers and sisters in law enforcement, I extend our sympathies and continued support to Jeff’s family and friends. During Jeff’s 22 years of public service we had countless opportunities to work along side him in everything from event planning to critical incidents. Jeff’s leadership and commitment to detail was always appreciated and certainly enhanced public safety for everyone. Please know our thoughts and prayers are with you and we thank Jeff for his service.

  26. Although my interactions with Jeff were short (I worked with him during the time I spent with the Safe Communities Coalition), my memories are ones of a great listener, strong leader and patient soul. God bless your family.