Ray Chancelor Harshman, 84, of Boise, ID, died at his home of natural causes on Friday, December 27, 2020. He was born September 20, 1936, in Parma, ID, to Foster Miller Harshman and Bertha Johanna Roedel. He was the 17th of 18 children. Ray grew up in Wilder, ID. His mother passed away when he was 5 years old, and his older siblings helped raise him. He learned his strong work ethic while growing up on the family farm. Ray was actively involved in high school sports – football, baseball, and basketball, having lettered in baseball.
Ray graduated from Wilder High School in 1955. Soon after graduation, he joined the Idaho Army National Guard, serving in the 615th Transportation Company in Homedale, ID. While serving there only a few months, he decided to enlist in the U.S. Navy. He served a tour on the USS Yorktown CVS-10, where he served as an Aviation Machine Mate. While serving in the Navy, he married Diana Lynne Rankin on February 6, 1960, in Las Vegas, NV. They lived in Indiana and Idaho. They built their family home in Boise, where they lived for 48 years. They have been happily married for 60 years.
Ray held various jobs over the years, working as a farm hand, a Correctional Guard at the Idaho State Penitentiary, and as a custodian for the State of Idaho. Ultimately, he found his most joy when he became the small business owner of A-1 Superior Cleaning for 25 years. It was a family business where every member of the family contributed in the work. The family spent time working together and learning how to properly clean and use the tools and equipment. Ray worked alongside his wife and each of his kids teaching us his skills and experience. He took pride in his work and taught his family to have a strong work ethic.
Ray attended Boise State University and graduated with a Bachelor of Arts, Social Science degree in 1971.
Ray was an avid hunter and fisherman. He enjoyed going on his hunting trips – duck, pheasant, deer, elk. He was an expert marksman. He took the opportunity to share his love of hunting with his sons and his grandson Richard. Ray also took the opportunity to teach all of his kids how to fish, some learning how to fish successfully (way to go, Terri) and some not so much (Eric is still waiting to catch that BIG one).
Ray was involved with the Boy Scouts of America as a merit badge counselor. He helped many scouts with their Citizenship in the Community, Auto Safety, Home Repair, First Aid, and Model Design and Building merit badges.
Ray was a member of the Idaho Gem Club and was an avid rockhound, enjoying the field trips in search of gems and minerals. He loved to spend time in his shop working on the stones and faceting the gems. He made many beautiful pieces of jewelry that he shared with family members.
Ray loved serving his country, and joined the Idaho Army National Guard, where he served in the 158th Engineering Detachment until 1980 and then later transferred to the Idaho Air National Guard and served as a Technical Sergeant. He retired in 1995 with honors from the Idaho Air National Guard after 25 years of service in the armed forces.
Ray was a member of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints and enjoyed serving others.
Ray is survived by his wife Diana and their six children, Alan (Susan) Harshman of Boise, ID, Scott Harshman of Kuna, ID, Terri Wallace of Pocatello, ID, Eric (Shelly) Harshman of Meridian, ID, Howard (Teresa) Harshman of Boise, ID, and Colleen (Eric) Miller of Nampa, ID; 3 sisters and 3 brothers; 13 grandchildren; and 2 great-grandchildren.
He is preceded in death by his father and mother, 5 brothers, and 6 sisters.
A visitation will be held from 9:00-10:30am on Saturday, January 2, 2021, at Relyea Funeral Chapel, followed by a memorial service for the immediate family at 11:00am. Due to CO-VID limits, the service will be live-streamed and recorded for friends and extended family (link at relyeafuneralchapel.com/tributes/Ray-Harshman).
The family would like to thank St. Luke’s Hospital and Keystone Hospice and their caregivers for their caring treatment of Ray in his final days.
To send flowers to Ray's family, please visit our floral store.