Robert (Bob) Lyle Irwin, 82, a longtime Sunnyside resident, passed away Saturday, Sept. 8, 2007, in his sleep from heart, kidney and diabetes challenges.
Bob was born Dec. 28, 1924, in Saginaw, Mich. to Leo and Dora Irwin. He left school in the tenth grade. He joined the U.S. Army. He was honorably discharged.
He was known as, "The Painter" and for more than 35 years painted businesses, buildings and houses in Sunnyside, the surrounding cities and other towns. At the age of 79, he laid his paint brush down for the last time. A working partnership developed between Bob and his stepson, Jeff Wiley. Jeff is continuing to do painting and is very much in demand. Other jobs included driving truck at Hanford, working on the Alaskan railroad, and working at the war plant in Ypsilanti, Mich.
Many years ago, he was a guard at the filming of the movie, "The Hanging Tree" which was being filmed in the upper Naches area.
While in Alaska he built one house and three in Sunnyside. For his children, he built a wonderful playhouse with partitions, glass windows and a door made of wood and glass.
He took his first vacation at the age of 81, and rode the train to Wisconsin and visited friends for a month.
He attended the Free Methodist Church in Sunnyside.
Bob is survived by a daughter, Barbara Mortensen and husband, Chris; a son, Terry Irwin and wife, Gaye; a grandson, Rikk Irwin and wife, Marlene; five great-grandchildren; a stepson, Jeff Wiley and wife, Mei, and their two children; former wife and an angel of a lady and friend, Gloria Irwin; stepson, Doug Irwin; and one brother, Don Irwin.
He was preceded in death by his parents; two brothers; and one stepson.
Private graveside services were held Tuesday, Sept. 11, 2007, with burial held at Lower Valley Memorial Gardens. The headstone will be designed by Terry and Gaye Irwin which will include a paint brush.
In lieu of flowers, memorial may be made to the Gospel Missions Department at the Free Methodist Church, 1108 E. Lincoln, Sunnyside.
Thank you, dad for literally "painting the town" and making it a prettier place to reside.
Precious in the sight of the Lord is the death of his saints. Psalms 116:15.
Smith Funeral Home is in charge of arrangements.