James T. Irwin, Jr. (Jim) – 74, passed away peacefully at Golden Hill Nursing Home on Wednesday, December 13th following a lengthy illness.
Jim was born on July 6, 1943 in Ellwood City to the late James T. Irwin, Sr. and Virginia Telford Irwin.
Jim would have been married 50 years in June to Michele Kraynak Irwin who survives. He leaves behind his children: James T. Irwin, III of Moon Twp., Kristen Irwin of New Castle, and Dr. David (Dr. Monica) Irwin of Erie. Jim also leaves his beloved grandchildren: Alivia Michele and Michael David who adored him. In addition, he leaves behind his sister-in-law, Debbie Irwin, and a niece and nephew and their families, all of Indianapolis, as well as various cousins in Ellwood City and around the country.
Jim graduated from Lincoln High School in 1962 and was the Class President. He went on to graduate from Allegheny College in 1965 where he was a member of the Phi Delta Theta Fraternity. Jim then taught Chemistry at Mercersburg Academy before coming back to Ellwood City and Lincoln High School to teach 7th Grade Science, Senior Science, and Chemistry until his retirement in 1997. He was a past president and head negotiator of the Ellwood Area Education Association. While at Lincoln, Jim coached the cross country team and led the famous “Barnyard Bunch” in intramural volleyball. Jim’s true passions were “puttering” on the farm and teaching. He dearly loved his students. He particularly loved being stopped by students wherever he went, as he so enjoyed getting to discover what they had done with their lives after high school.
In addition, Jim was a lifelong member of the First United Methodist Church in Ellwood City. He was a member of the choir for years and loved music. He also served as chairperson on various committees. Jim was known as the “fix it man” at church, in the community, and at home. He was always ready with a helping hand for someone in need and would try his best to fix things rather than call a repair person.
Jim was preceded in death by his parents, his mother-in-law and father-in-law, Dorothy and Michael Kraynak, his only brother, Gary Irwin, and a nephew, Jeffrey Smith.
The Irwin Family would like to thank Rochelle, Janet, and the entire staff at Golden Hill Nursing Home (1 West) for their kindness, care, and compassion with Jim and our family during Jim’s stay there. We will forever think of you as part of our family.
Three Rivers Hospice played a key role in keeping both Jim and his family comfortable during his final days. Their efforts are also greatly appreciated.
Viewing will be held on Sunday, December 17 from 1 to 7 pm at the Marshall Funeral Home, 200 Fountain Ave. Ellwood City. Funeral Service will be held on Monday the 18th at the First United Methodist Church at 11:00 am. Reception to follow in the church basement. Private interment will take place at Mt. Hope Cemetery.
Memorial contributions can be made to: The First United Methodist Church, 416 Crescent Avenue, Ellwood City, PA 16117
Online condolences may be sent to marshallsfh.com