FFCC member Norman “Skip” Sheffield passes away

The FFCC is in mourning after the passing of our colleague Norman “Skip” Sheffield.

Courtesy Sheila Sheffield Platt

It is with a heavy heart that we must report on the passing of our colleague Norman “Skip” Sheffield. According to his brother, John Sheffield, Skip passed away in his sleep last Thursday night, July 20. He was 69 years old.

Skip was a longtime film and arts writer based in Boca Raton, Florida, not to mention a contributor to the arts himself as a guitarist. News of his death came to us at the FFCC via a Facebook post by his brother John, who wrote, “I moved in with Skip at age 17 and that began a long musical journey that lasted 42 years. Skip loved Old Boca, the Arts, cars motorcycles and music. We played from Miami to Fort Pierce in every conceivable venue.”

Beginning in 1969 and through college Skip worked at the Boca Raton News as a graphic artist while working on his master’s degree in English Literature at Florida Atlantic University. He graduated from FAU in 1973 with his Master’s degree. The academic life wasn’t for him, he said, and he eventually became the manager of the engraving department at Boca Raton News. He soon moved on to his real passion: writing. Skip would write about “everything under the sun,” as he put it. But he had a particular love for the movies. He hung out in the projection booth at the Ritz Theatre in Spring Lake, New Jersey, and acted as a gofer for the projectionist when he was only 6 years old. He also shot a film on 16mm as a kid and even did some acting while in college.

Some of his favorite movies included classics like Casablanca and Duck Soup and romantic comedies like Manhattan and (500) Days of Summer. The dude had taste. He joined the Florida Film Critics Circle in the spring of 2009. His last review was for Girls Trip, which he wrote about on his blog, Skip Sheffield’s Flix, Muzik, Showz, Travel & More Blog. He opened his review in his strong, recognizable voice by stating, “Who would have thought a black chick comedy could be so appealing to a whitebread male? As the whitebread male in question I can assure you ‘Girls Trip’ is the funniest thing I have seen in quite some time.”

Skip was an exemplary and longtime member of the FFCC, as well as a member of the Southeastern Film Critics Association for at least 20 years. He was a chatty and active contributor at the FFCC. His humble and naturally kind approach often brought much needed levity to a group of writers inclined to defend positions tooth and nail. His legacy at the FFCC will never be forgotten.

He is survived by his daughters Mary, Laura and Anna, grandson Milo Gentry, brothers Richard, John and David and sister Sheila Platt.

A memorial service for Skip Sheffield will be held Saturday, August 26, at 11 a.m. at First United Methodist Church in Boca Raton. A reception will follow afterwards in the Gathering Place next door. All are invited. On Sunday, August 27, The Sheffield Brothers with musical guests will play at Tim Finnegans in Delray beach 2885 S. Federal Highway.

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