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Jim Garry Irwin
June 27, 1936 ~ January 17, 2017
January 26, 2017
Jim Garry Irwin, 80, of Kellogg, Idaho, passed away January 17, 2017, surrounded by his loving family. A funeral service was January 23, at the Kellogg Funeral Chapel with Pastor Corey Berti Officiating.

He was born June 27, 1936, in Bonners Ferry, the second son of William and Mary (Chappell) Irwin.

Jim attended and graduated from Bonners Ferry High School in 1953. He went to the University of Idaho for one year prior to enlisting in the U.S. Army. He served in Vietnam, Korea, Okinawa, Germany and stateside.

He served with distinction, earning a Bronze Star and a Purple Heart. While he was in the service he worked for and received a degree in physics. After 20 years of service to his country he retired.

On November 18, 1971, James married Billie Donkelaar in Coeur d’Alene at the First Christian Church.

They packed up their family after they retired and moved to Boise to be able to access the education opportunities available there. Jim earned an elementary teaching degree and was able to secure a teaching position in the Kellogg School District 391.

Jim enjoyed his classroom very much, with interesting activities for the children such as hatching eggs in the classroom, various craft projects including building a quilt in the classroom that each student made each block to contribute to the blanket. He absolutely loved his students and they loved him. He did spend some time teaching sixth grade math but fourth grade was his favorite grade to teach.

He would spend summers fishing in Montana, looking for the best place to take his grandchildren fishing. One of his granddaughters was extremely excited because she caught 25 fish right off the dock. It didn’t matter to her that they were squaw fish and not edible. At five years old, fish are fish.

He was happiest when his grandchildren and great-grandchildren were close. They were perfect as far as he was concerned.

Jim was a lifetime member of the Independent Order of Odd Fellows, life member of the Disabled American Veterans and a member of the Veterans Foreign Wars.

Jim is survived by his beloved wife of 45 years, Billie Irwin, Kellogg, children Patricia (Shawn) James, Coeur D’Alene,  and Ralph Irwin of Salem, Oregon, sister Jennifer (Glen) Nies of Coeur D’Alene, 10 grandchildren, 11 great-grandchildren and numerous nieces and nephews.

He was preceded in death by his parents, sons James Irwin Jr. and Ernest M. Irwin, brothers William Irwin, Ernest Irwin and Austin Irwin and grandchildren Andrew Momb and Angela Momb.

In lieu of flowers, donations can be made at The Cystic Fibrosis Foundation or Alzheimer's Association or a charity of your choice.

One may sign Jim’s online guest book at

Shoshone Funeral Services & Crematory, Kellogg, is entrusted with funeral arrangements.