John Morgan Booth passed away November 12, 2020 at the age of 87. John was born December 17, 1932 in Boise, Idaho to Percy and Edith Booth. He was the third of four children. They lived in Eagle, Idaho.
John was an adventurous young man and his stories from his youth with his best friend Leroy “Sonny” Ryska were countless. After sneaking to the army and being Honorably Discharged (at the age of 16), John graduated from Eagle High School in 1952. John was a member of the National Guard. He attended college at the University of Idaho and Boise Junior College, then started his career with Bell Telephone Company.
John met the love of his life, Betty Copes, while working at Bell. John and Betty had two sons, Steve and Tony. They were married for 25 years and remained best friends until Betty’s passing.
His adventurous spirit led to a lifetime love of fast cars and traveling. John got his pilot’s license and loved flying. He owned a plane for several years. John drove in races and was on race teams throughout the U.S. He was a regular at Meridian Speedway and Firebird Raceway. His knowledge of cars and mechanics was deep. Recently he was able to diagnose a problem in his great grandson’s truck over the phone sight unseen.
In 1977 John participated on his first of many Indy car race teams. In 1996, John was on the winning Indy 500 team with driver Buddy Lazier. This was a major highlight in John’s racing career. The relationships John formed with folks around the nation in the racing world are many. He traveled to speedways throughout the United States working and taking his son, Tony, to race.
John retired from Bell Telephone Company after 25 years as an engineer designing the layouts for phone systems. After retiring he invested time into his love of cars, racing, and driving truck. He drove beet trucks and moved semi-trucks for local companies across the nation the last years of his life.
John enjoyed watching all sports. He became especially fond of the Cowboy Channel in the last year. He was so proud of his sons and his grandchildren. Technology allowed him much connection with them, and he was able to watch them compete in rodeos and sports and cheer them on, as well as attend competitions near and far.
John was preceded in death by Betty, his son Tony, his brother Richard, his nephew Mark, and his parents.
He leaves behind his son Steve (Maria “Dode”) Dugger, granddaughters – Stefanie Duby, Kelli (Sam) Riley, Heidi (Mike) Fettic, 7 great grandchildren, 2 great-great grandchildren, sister Coralee (Lee) Kleeberger, brother William (Patsy) Booth, and numerous nieces and nephews, and his best friend Leroy Ryska.
There will be an Open House at John’s home on Saturday, November 21,, 2020 from 2 – 5 PM to celebrate his memory. Address: 7519 Cypress Lane, Nampa. We will be respecting all COVID safety precautions.
Arrangements are under the direction of Nampa Funeral Home, Yraguen Chapel where an online guest book and obituary are available at www.nampafuneralhome.com.
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