Celebrating the life of Richard Farris Irwin
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Richard Irwin slipped the surly bonds of earth at 5:10 pm on Sunday, February 12, 2017. He passed peacefully surrounded by family and friends. Richard is survived by Peggy, his wife of 31 years; sons Jimmy and Jason Berzsenyi; daughters-in-law Beth and Michael Berzsenyi; grandchildren Jackson, Patrick, Stella, Gus, and Pete. Richard was preceded in death by his parents, Jared Hubert and Mary Frances Irwin and a sister-in-law, Shirley Irwin. He is survived by one brother, Hubert Bennie Irwin of Gainesville, and five sisters: Patsy and Tom Hindmon of Winston, Brenda Lee of Avondale Estates, Susan Maney of Peachtree Corners, Betty Irwin and Cindy Livingston of Avondale Estates, Maryann Mullinax of Mableton and several nieces and nephews.
Richard grew up around Atlanta in the Grant Park area. Richard almost won a baseball scholarship from the University of Georgia as a southpaw pitcher. Anyone competing against Richard on a tennis court learned the hard way what his left arm could do.
Richard, flying his Huey helicopter, “Kept the skies above Fort Rucker, Alabama safe” during his late 1960’s stint in the US Army. After attending Georgia State Richard moved to Carrollton in 1974, where he piloted Southwire’s corporate planes for the next quarter-century. He flew for AirTran Airlines for several years, retiring in 2006. He continued to fly corporate planes for numerous local companies until 2016.
Richard served on the West Georgia Regional Airport Authority Board, he volunteered at Carrollton’s THS Emergency Shelter, he was an enthusiastic participant at Sportsplex, and he was a founding member of the ASSORTMENT book club. Richard and Peggy were members of the First Baptist Church of Carrollton.
Richard loved airplanes, flying, chocolate (in all its forms), the Georgia Bulldogs, tennis, bicycling the Green Belt, kayaking Lake Carroll, sunny beaches, reading Ernest Hemingway and manicuring his yard. Most of all he loved Peggy, his children and grandchildren, his brother and sisters, and his dogs and cats.
Richard did not like collard greens or any leafy vegetables for that matter. He hated for his Georgia Bulldogs to lose a football game. He did not like New York City taxi rides, cold weather, geese and ducks loitering in his back yard, and riding in a vehicle that he was not driving.
Richard possessed a gentle Andy Taylor-like sensibility coupled with a sharp intellect, an indomitable spirit, and an endearing sense of humor. He was well-versed in all aspects of human endeavors and could talk in-depth about almost any subject.
Richard wants his family and friends to celebrate his life and not mourn his passing. He spent his entire career flying which is what he enjoyed. So step outside today and gaze skyward, that silver-winged craft soaring among sun-split clouds is likely ATL-bound, but look more closely and you just might glimpse Richard grinning in the cockpit of his favorite plane high in the sunlit silence reaching out to touch the face of God.
The family will receive friends at Almon Funeral Home on Tuesday from 4 p.m. until 7 p.m.
Funeral service will be Wednesday, February 15, 2017 at 2 p.m. at the First Baptist Church with Dr. Steve Davis, Mr. Bennie Irwin and Mr. Jason Berzsenyi officiating.
Pallbearers will be Gilbert Huey, Milton Berry, Tom Nielsen, Ron Frank, Jim Mitchell, Tom Smither, Bobby Lee and Drennan Dobbs.
Interment will be in Carroll Memory Gardens.
Memorial contributions may be made to the First Baptist Church, Legacy Fund, 102 Dixie Street, Carrollton, Georgia 30117.
Messages of condolences may be expressed to the family online at www.almonfuneralhome.com.
Almon Funeral Home of Carrollton has charge of arrangements.
548 Newnan Street
Carrollton, GA 30117
102 Dixie St.
Carrollton, GA 30117
914 Stripling Chapel Rd
Carrollton, GA 30116