Charles L. Irby

 

OBITUARIES Charles Linwood Irby  
August 27, 2010
LaFond-Ardoin Funeral Homes
2845 S. Union Street
Opelousas, LA 70570
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Lafond Ardoin Funeral Home Chapel
2845 S. Union Street
Opelousas ,  LA 70570
8/30/2010 from 1:00- 10:00 p.m.
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Funeral Home Service
Lafond-Ardoin Funeral Home Chapel
2845 S. Union Street
Opelousas ,  LA 70570
8/31/2010 at 11:00 a.m.
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Opelousas - Charles Linwood Irby, longtime resident and former supervisor at Texas Eastern Transmission Corporation passed away peacefully at his home on Friday, August 27. Funeral services will be held at 11am Tuesday, August 31 at LaFond Ardoin Funeral Home in Opelousas and at 1pm Wednesday, September 1 at Rose-Neath Funeral Home in Minden, Louisiana. Reverend Dale Hendsarling will conduct both funeral services. Viewing is at Lafond from 1:00-10pm Monday, August 30 and 8:00-11am Tuesday, August 31. The Minden viewing will be at 6:30 pm Tuesday evening until 12noon Wednesday, September 1. Lafond Ardoin is at 2845 South Union Street in Opelousas, Louisiana (337-942-2638) www.lafondardoin.com. Rose-Neath is at 211 Murrell Street in Minden, Louisiana (318-377-3412) www.rose-neath.com.

“Charlie” was born in Minden, Louisiana to Mr. and Mrs. Ira Thomas Irby, Sr. At a very young age, he showed an aptitude for sports and played on the baseball team at Hunter’s Playground in Minden. He was an expert diver, enjoyed roller skating, rode horses and loved to hunt and fish. He met his wife, the former Betty Jean Warren, there at the age of 14. They were childhood sweethearts and were married for 52 years. Betty was the daughter of Mr. and Mrs. Burrell Talmage Warren of Minden.

Sergeant Irby served in World War II in the 2nd Cavalry, Third Army (under the command of George Patton) and patrolled the Alps along the German border. “We always thought the yodeling was so pretty” he said. “We had no idea at first that they were actually warning each other of the border patrols!” He was stationed in Freising, Germany under Colonel Charles Reed (Commander of Patton’s 2nd Cavalry), who was instrumental in saving the Royal Lipizzaner Stallions. “Miracle of the White Stallions” was based on this effort to save the beautiful horses of the Spanish Riding School of Vienna. Their base competed in many horse jumping competitions while he was there, and Irby won several awards. The faces of starving children he saw after the war haunted him. In fact, out of all his accomplishments, one of the things he cherished most was his family. He loved to watch his children, grandchildren and great-grandchildren playing on the 55 acre playground/ sanctuary Charlie and Betty had created for them.

He returned to the States after the war to work for Brown and Root (now Halliburton) and the “Big Inch” Pipeline - which became Texas Eastern/Panhandle Eastern/Duke Energy and is now Spectra Energy. He was a supervisor at Texas Eastern Transmission Corporation for many years and served as Safety Officer as well. He also volunteered to teach First Aid and CPR to students at Opelousas Junior High School.

As a child of the Depression, he had learned that hard work, patience and perseverance would allow him to accomplish his goals. He lived his life with tolerance, humility and modesty and gave his children unconditional love. At the end, he was able to achieve his wish of passing on peacefully into the next life at his own home, on his own land and with people he loved around him. His generous spirit and ability to connect and inspire people will allow his memory to live on.

Mr. Irby is survived by his children Roger Irby, Tamme Irby Flood, Charles Irby, Joel Irby and Elizabeth Irby Barnes as well as 14 grandchildren and 3 great-grandchildren. He is also survived by his three brothers: Ira Irby, Connell Irby and Benton Irby.

He was preceded in death by his wife Betty Jean Warren Irby, parents Mr. and Mrs. Ira Irby, Sr, and a sister Helen.

Submitted by Benton Irby, Class of 1957