Loren K. “Joe” Skaug, age 80, passed away on June 16, 2021, due to complications from surgery and heart attack. He was born on June 5, 1941, to Rev. Merrill C. and Ruby M. Skaug in Tacoma, Washington. After the age of two, Skaug enjoyed the remainder of his life in Idaho, spending his early years in Sandpoint and Harrison, Idaho. At age 12, the family moved to Eagle, Idaho where he lived until age 20.
Skaug attended jr. high in Eagle and high school at Meridian where he competed in basketball and track. In the late 1950’s, he was Meridian High’s top sprinter and high jumper on the track and field team.
He graduated from Boise Jr. College and Idaho State University (’65) with a B.A. in history and English.
In 1961, he married Vicki Young of Eagle. They later divorced. In 1975, he married Lois Etters of Jerome. He and Lois enjoyed many adventures together traveling the Western highways…sometimes cruising at 100 m.p.h. on their Honda motorcycle to motor car trips, with the destination often including an NHRA Drag Racing event.
Skaug taught jr. high school for seven years, two in North Idaho and five years in Jerome. He also coached football, basketball and track.
In 1971 he was recruited by the Idaho State Department of Employment where he managed a number of Employment Offices in the Magic Valley. In 1983, he received the Merit Award for outstanding employee of the agency.
Before and after his retirement in 1994, Skaug was involved in a large number of endeavors including radio sports broadcasting, race car driving, announcing race events, doing public relations work for racetracks, race teams and radio, newspaper and television. Some of his happiest moments were standing on the starting line next to 335 mph race cars, particularly when one of his children or grandchildren were with him.
For several years, Skaug wrote a colorful monthly newspaper column, dealing with politics, education, and sports. He enjoyed chiding local political beliefs of the majority. He also had a popular radio talk show. He figured his key to success was to never take himself too seriously --- or anyone else for that matter.
He wrote over 100 nationally published magazine articles on auto racing. Over the years, he enjoyed friendships with many greats of the racing world as well as celebrities he met at the races.
He served as an elected member of the Jerome School Board where he advocated and achieved improved academics and athletics. He also was elected, in a hotly contested election, to the Jerome City Council for one term where he advocated for lower taxes (without success).
In later years, Skaug was best known for his creation and direction of the Joe Mama’s Car Show. He was able to attract many of the top race and show cars from across the nation as well as thousands of spectators. It became a successful annual community event.
In 2003, he received the “Lifetime Achievement Award” for Jerome.
Most importantly, Skaug recognized that nothing was more important than believing in Jesus Christ as Lord and Savior for salvation. He was a Sunday School teacher and active in his church. He was a long-time member and supporter of Racers for Christ.
He was proud of his children and grandchildren, and they will miss his encouragement, his contagious laugh, and his quick wit.
Skaug was preceded in death by his brothers, Bruce J. Skaug, Byron M. Skaug, and Hugh Skaug; and sister, Caroline Catling. He is survived by his wife, Lois; children, Bruce of Nampa, Idaho; Shelly of Los Angeles, California; Charlie of Nampa, Idaho; Dustin of Boise, Idaho; Ben of Ft. Worth, Texas; nine grandchildren; and four great grandchildren.
A funeral service will be held at 11:00 am, Tuesday, June 22, 2021, with a viewing an hour prior to service. at Farnsworth Mortuary and Crematory, 1343 South Lincoln Jerome, Idaho. A reception and meal will follow at Calvary Chapel in Jerome. There may be some very fast cars at the memorial service.
Joe requested memorial donations to Racers for Christ and/or the Boise Rescue Mission.
Memories and condolences may be shared with the family on Joe’s memorial webpage at www.farnsworthmortuary.com.
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