Obituary for William James "Bill" Irwin
William James Irwin, 90, of Sherburne Four Corners passed away on March 17, 2018, on his 72nd wedding anniversary, surrounded by his loving family at UHS, Norwich, NY,
He was born August 1, 1927 in Sherburne to William and Edith Irwin. His family moved to Norwich where he attended Norwich schools until joining the Merchant Marines and then the U.S. Navy in 1945, serving proudly in W.W. II. Bill was honorably discharged at the end of the war.
On March 17, 1946, he married his sweetheart, Betty Mathers, who survives. They resided in Norwich and then North Norwich for a few years until moving to their present home in Sherburne Four Corners in 1956, where they raised their eight children.
Bill’s first employment out of the Navy was with the O & W railroad in Norwich. He then went to work for G.L.A. (now Unison) in Norwich in 1952, where he became Supervisor and was then promoted to Manager. He worked there for 38 years retiring in 1990.
Bill loved hunting and the outdoors. He was an excellent athlete, especially at ice skating where he could jump barrels and benches even when skating backwards. Another love of his was firematics and he captained the North Norwich Fire Department Firematics team for many years in the 1960’s and into the 1970’s. They won many local, regional and state competitions. The fire department still has many trophies displayed in their honor.
Bill enjoyed woodworking and spent many hours building sturdy tables, benches and chairs, mostly for family. He was especially gifted at mounting deer antlers, cutting out and staining the wood plaques. He mounted hundreds over the years for family and friends, never accepting any money. They will be treasured and passed down for many years. He loved being at the family lodge in North Norwich, always keeping it up, and where he enjoyed many family occasions. Bill also was an avid golfer and spent many happy hours with family and friends at the Mountain Top Golf Course in Sherburne.
His greatest love was family and he was a devoted husband, father, grandfather, great grandfather and great, great grandfather. He was predeceased by his angel daughter, Carol Irwin Cook in 2001. Surviving are two sisters, Mildred White of Hamilton and Beverly (Don) Burrows of Leesburg, FL; two brothers, Kenneth (Jean) Irwin of Portageville, NY, Richard (Patsy) Stott of Norwich. Also surviving are his wife of 72 years, Betty; three sons, William (Kathy) of Sherburne; Jerry (Brenda) of Norwich; Alan (Wendy) of Sherburne; four daughters, Gloria (Lisle) Britton of Sherburne; Marilyn (Regan Smith) Blanchard of Smyrna; Nancy (Richard) Smith of Oxford; and Sheri (Scott) Rosa of Sherburne; 21 grandchildren, 50 great-grandchildren and a great-great-grandchild.
To honor Bill’s request, there are no funeral services and a private burial will be held in the spring at West Hill Cemetery, Sherburne.
Contributions in his memory can be made to the Sherburne American Legion, 15 South Main St., Sherburne, NY 13460.
Arrangements have been entrusted to Burgess & Tedesco Funeral Home, 10 S. Main St., Sherburne.
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