Obituary of Helen Shelley Lutes
On July 30, 2018, Helen Lutes passed away, but was very much looking forward to being reunited with the many family and friends who had gone on before her.
Helen Shelley Lutes was born June 2, 1926, in Boise, Idaho, to Roy and Ora Belle Shelley. Following her birth, her rather spirited mother moved her and her older brother from town to town where she bought and renovated hotels. This resulted in Helen attending 12 different schools before graduating from high school in 1944 in Washington. Helen had very fond memories of sometimes living with her grandmother in Horseshoe Bend, Idaho, where she and her older brother, Rex, could ride their pony to school and back. After graduating high school, Helen worked in the Washington shipyards where she caught the eye of her first husband, Ivan, and they soon married and moved back to his hometown of Ellensburg, Washington. Helen loved the town and his family, and her mother Ora commented that you could tell which house belonged to Helen because it had the cleanest windows in town. After a short while in Ellensburg, Ivan announced that they were moving. Helen, being tired of the itinerant lifestyle of her youth, responded by tossing her wedding ring out the second story window of their home, and moving to Cascade, Idaho, where her mother was currently living.
This was a stroke of luck, because there she caught the eye of Robert (“Bob”) Lutes, the local hometown golden boy, and they married. She had a lovely home there with Bob where he worked in the local lumber mill. Their first child, Robert Stanton (“Stan”) Lutes was born in Cascade, Idaho, in August, 1949. On one memorable day, while doing the washing, she opened the door to find Robert Mitchum standing on her doorstep, who had apparently accidentally swapped waders with her Robert. She was mortified because her hair wasn’t done. Shortly thereafter, but not because of the Mitchum incident, she and Bob and Stan moved to Boise where Bob began work for Idaho Power, they settled into life in the North End, and their second son, Stephen George (“Steve”) Lutes was born in August, 1953. The North End in Boise at that time was quite a social scene and they had abundant friends, throwing pool parties, dinner parties, bridge parties, holiday parties, and just parties for the sake of having parties. In the 1970’s Bob opened a powerline installation business in Twin Falls, where they relocated, along with their son Steve and his new wife D’on. Helen tried it for a while but was very glad they had not sold the North End house because she continued to spend most of her time in Boise. Two granddaughters also came along in the 70’s, Rochelle Maureen (“Shelley”) Lutes and Katherine Ann (“Katie”) Lutes.
Bob sold the business in the 1980’s and moved back to Boise full time with Helen where they continued to live a very happy life, including the addition of a step-grandchild and a new granddaughter in September, 1995, Tyler Huff and Maddie Lutes. They took back up with all of their North End friends, but had fewer parties, and more coffee and golf dates. By all accounts they lived a happy and full life together, until Bob’s passing in January, 2000.
Helen’s favorite place in the world was the family cabin on West Mountain in Cascade, Idaho that she and Bob built together in the 1950’s. It was surrounded by huckleberry bushes and pines. She continued to spend as much time there as she could in the summers, frequently weeks at a time, and was able to continue to drive herself there and pick huckleberries until she was 90. She was also passionate about her flowers and planted the loveliest flowerpots in all of Boise. Helen was not one to mince words and generally spoke her mind. She was also loving and caring and would never let you leave her house without something to eat and likely some jam to go. She will be missed by her remaining family and friends very much.
She was preceded in death by her husband, Robert Lutes, son, Stan Lutes, parents Roy Shelley and Ora Belle Shelton, brother, Rex Shelley and sister-in-law Pat Shelley, nephew Doug Shelley and niece Susan Wymer, and sadly far too many more friends and family to list. Helen missed them very much, and was looking forward to seeing them again. She is survived by her son Steve Lutes, who worked tirelessly for several years caring for Helen so that she could remain in her home. She is also survived by her granddaughters Shelley (Lutes) Davis and her husband, Bryan Davis, her granddaughter Katie Lutes, granddaughter Maddie Lutes, greIn lieu of flowers, please make a donation to your favorite charity in Helen’s honor.at-grandsons Gus Fuller and Gauge Davis, great-nephew Ben Shelley and great-niece Sarah Shelley.
In lieu of flowers, please make a donation to your favorite charity in Helen’s honor.