Cover photo for Harry Vane “Skip” Carruthers's Obituary

Harry Vane “Skip” Carruthers

Harry Vane “Skip” Carruthers

Harry Carruthers passed away peacefully at home on Sunday evening, March 27, after blessing his family and friends with his love and friendship for 98 years.  Harry was born January 21, 1924, to H. Vane and Mary Augusta Manor Carruthers in the very small town of Herrin, Illinois.  He was the third oldest of eight children.  His family moved back to the family farm in Ava, Illinois, where he grew up and graduated from Campbell Hill Community High School in 1942 with a scholarship to Southern Illinois University.  He later transferred to the University of Chicago.

The U.S. Army Air Force came calling later in 1942.  He went to Armored Training School, Gunnery Training School and then became a Gunnery Instructor at several bases around the country.  It was in the service in Texas that Dad met his lifelong friend, Jim Collier.  Jim from Montana and Harry from Illinois, both stationed at Mountain Home AFB during the war, knew they both loved Idaho and returned after the war to make Boise their forever home.

After returning to Boise, he worked for Western Electric as an installer throughout Idaho and northern Utah.  He later joined Harvard Electric.  In 1949, he started working for Idaho Power Company.  Harry started as an electrician and then became a mobile substation crew foreman.  In 1959 he transferred to the General Office and became Idaho Power’s first technician, and retired 34 years later as Engineering Designer III Supervisor.  He loved his job and the lifelong friends that were his co-workers and coffee group. After retirement, Ron Yanke invited Harry to be a design consultant in their rebuilding of coal-fired generators in Idaho, Oregon and California.  Another job he loved before he officially retired.

It was while working at Western Electric that Harry was assigned to fix the main switchboard at Mountain Bell Telephone Company.  There was a pretty young telephone operator working the board that day that he was attracted to – Helen Shelton from Star, Idaho.  This attraction and chance meeting turned into a long and loving marriage that lasted 72 years.

While he was still working, weekends Harry and Helen built their beautiful round cabin in Garden Valley at Terrace Lakes.  Dad designed the round cabin using popsicle sticks as a miniature model.  They spent over 50 years as members of Terrace Lakes golfing, snowmobiling, playing cards, riding four wheelers and having fun with special friends.

Harry was always willing to learn new things, teach young people, and participate in organizations.  He was President of Terrace Lakes Golf Association, member of Garden Valley Snowmobile Club, Junior Achievement Advisor, State Co-President with Helen of Idaho P.T.A., and Member, Institute of Electronic and Electrical Engineers, holding state and national positions.

First and foremost, Harry was a family man always.  He loved his daughter, Vickie, and she was the “apple of his eye”.  He loved Helen’s family like his own and tried to get to Illinois to see his brothers and sisters every two years.

He and Helen traveled to places they never dreamt of seeing while growing up on small farms in small towns in the 1920s.  They saw the beauty of Alaska, the Great Wall of China, blue waters of the Caribbean and the beaches of Mexico, sailed through the Panama Canal, and enjoyed their motor home travels across the U.S.  Their favorite trip was to the sheep farms of New Zealand and Australia.  But nothing ever compared to the wonderful times at their cabin.  They had a wonderful life together.

Harry was predeceased by his wife, Helen (2019), and all members of his immediate family – parents Vane and Mary Carruthers, brothers John, Luther “Pete”, Steve, Earl and Walt, and sisters Mary Ruth and Sue.

Harry is survived by his daughter, Vickie, and her husband Mike Chaney of Meridian.  Grandchildren Michael Chaney (Chrissy) of Chicago, Illinois and Anne Delorier (Chris) of Westport, Connecticut. Great Grandchildren Jack, Ryan and Colin Chaney, and Mason, Miles and Ellie Delorier.  Plus numerous nieces, nephews, great and great great nieces and nephews.

During the last six years, he was happy and grateful for getting to live at home, thanks to the special care of Angie Anderson, his “other” granddaughter, and summer caregiver, Liz Robison, plus the joyful visits of his great great niece, Bailey Carruthers.

Memorials may be made in Harry’s memory to St. Luke’s CAR-T online at or by mail to St. Luke’s Health Foundation, 190 E. Bannock, Boise, ID  83712.

A memorial service will be held Thursday, April 7, at 11:00 a.m. at Alden-Waggoner Funeral Chapel.  A graveside service will be held prior at 9:30 a.m. at Dry Creek Cemetery.  Viewing will be held at Alden-Waggoner Funeral Chapel on Wednesday, April 6, 2022 from 5 p.m. – 7 p.m.

To order memorial trees or send flowers to the family in memory of Harry Vane “Skip” Carruthers, please visit our flower store.


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