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AQHA Director Emeritus Al Carruthers Dies

Montana Horseman dies January 8.

January 11, 2012

Generic Racing Shot

AQHA Director Emeritus Charles Allan "Al" Carruthers died at home on Sunday, January 8, 2012.

He was born in Butte, August 27, 1930, to Mabel (Wilson) and Clyde Carruthers, the youngest of five children.

He was a very proud man – proud of his family, his accomplishments and his life. He was proud to be a Marine, a 32nd-Degree Mason, a successful salesman and a successful businessman. He owned many businesses and contributed greatly to the economy of his city. Town and Country Trailer Sales, Town and Country Furniture, Great Western Trailer Sales, Great Western Storage, Golden West Estates Development, Big Sky Mobile Home Mfg. and Green Acres Development are some of the more notable companies he owned and operated. He was proudest of his vision and opening of a steakhouse, The Derby, (named after the horse race for 3-year-olds). If you had the pleasure of visiting The Derby during the years he built it up, you would remember all of the pictures of him and his family and friends in "win pictures" lining the walls. His love of racing, raising and training Quarter Horses (and even a few Thoroughbreds) is legendary among Montana racing enthusiasts.

His appointment to the Montana Board of Horse Racing by then-Gov. Judy Martz, re-appointed by Gov. Brian Schweitzer and his years of being elected to the American Quarter Horse Association Board of Directors, and eventually being recognized as a director emeritus, along with being president of the Montana Quarter Horse Association, showed his love, hard work and tireless dedication to preserve the "sport of kings" in Montana and nationwide. To some, the fact that Montanans still enjoy live horse racing can be credited to his involvement.

He is survived by his loving wife of 61 years, Maxine. Also surviving are his two daughters, Jeri (Bob) Lee and Lynn Strobel; grandchildren, Rob (Roshelle) Lee of Spokane, Alexa (John) Schwaigert of Seattle and Max Strobel, Seattle; great-grandchildren, Ivy and Axel Schwaigert, Lauryn and Tessa Lee; many nieces and nephews and their children and grandchildren.

He was preceded in death by his parents; brothers, Max and Donald Carruthers; and sisters, June Mazzolini and Bernice Shaw.

Graveside services will be conducted at 1 p.m. Thursday, January 11, in Mountain View Cemetery followed by a reception and celebration of his life from 2 to 5 p.m. at The Derby. In lieu of flowers, memorials may be made to www.TheCloudFoundation.org for the preservation of wild mustangs on public lands in Montana.

Express condolences at www.mtstandard.com/obits.