William (Bill) Frances Irwin, age 98 passed away peacefully surrounded by his family on Sunday, July 16, 2017 at Harbor Chase Nursing Home. He was born in Jersey City, NJ on August 7, 1918 to Estelle O’Halek and William Irwin.
Bill entered the Navy in 1937 at 18 years of age, after 4 years he continued his service in the Coast Guard for 16 years as Master Chief Engineer, upon retirement from the Coast Guard he enlisted in the Army Corp of Engineers for another 12 years. Bill served in World War II and was stationed on many ships during his 32 years of military service. He honored our Country by serving on USS Guadalcanal, Hunter Killer Task Group which captured the first German U Boat-U505 on the high seas. This ship is displayed in the Chicago Museum of Natural History, not only did he serve our country by its capture, he was one of the major contributors to place the ship and build the museum around it.
The Irwin’s moved from Connecticut to settle in Gainesville, FL in 1958. After his retirement from the military in 1970 he was employed by Sperry/Rand Corp. as an Electrician and retired in 1982.
Bill and his wife Margaret were very active members at St. Patrick’s Catholic Church in Gainesville. Bills love of adventure and knowledge started their traveling to make lasting friendships all over the world. Weather it was walking the Great Wall of China, standing on an iceberg in New Zeland, riding the Safari trail in Africa or drinking Sangria with his friends in Spain. He was never to tired for his next adventure. Bill had a truly blessed life.
He was survived by his four children, Richard Irwin, Gainesville, Elizabeth Albee, Santa Rosa Beach, Joy Goodman, Gainesville and William Michael (Robin) Irwin, Gainesville, 3 grandchildren and 3 great grandchildren. He is preceded in death by his wife of 64 years, Margaret Kline Irwin and four brothers, Robert, George, Walter and Harry.
A Christian Mass will take place at 10:00am on Saturday, July 22, 2017 at St. Patricks Catholic Church with Father Julien Roland officiating. A brievement luncheon will be provided in the Fellowship Hall immediately following the Mass. Burial will take place after the luncheon at Forest Meadows Memorial Park East off of Hawthorne road in Gainesville with Military Honors at the Military Garden of Honors. A Visitation will be held Friday, July 21, 2017 from 5:00pm to 7:00pm at Forest Meadows Funeral Home Chapel, 725 NW 23rd Ave., Gainesville, Fl., 32609. Arrangements are under the care of Forest Meadows Funeral Home, Gainesville, FL.