CHUCK LEAVES FAMILY & FRIENDS JULY 6TH
BY STORMY IRWIN
CHARLES V. IRWIN had his call to leave us in the early morning of July 6th at 1:22 AM due to complications from a stroke leaving him without a voice, some paralysis, poor hearing and God only knows what else. His daughter Victoria had the feeling he was getting closer to his final presence on earth. She got the message out to close friends and family (son Steven in Alabama, sister Stormy in Sacramento, brother Pepper in Graham, WA., Kent and grandson Jay in Colorado Springs.) Chuck could not respond to our calls, but we all had our “special words” for him as Victoria held the phone up to his ear. Afterwards, she felt Chuck was where he wanted to be..he became very serene and more than ready to take that next step. A few hours later he did so. “Special Thanks” to all who made the call; you “made his day”.
I just hope he has all female angels to greet him or he will initiate a protest at the gates of St. Peter and they will listen to this man! If he had one $20.00 bill in his pocket and a stranger approached asking for a handout, his response would ALWAYS be positive! This reaction is from a guy who, no matter how much money he’d have coming on his retirement checks or “big time” checks he’d received when his profession was that of a lawyer, he still ALWAYS lived prom payday to payday. He never had a house of his own, but he helped others have theirs. If a pretty girl, he’d hardly know, made conversation with him and told him he needed 4 new tires for her car.. he paid for her tires. I think he did this type of thing for hundreds of pretty women over his 85 years, bless his heart, and this is just ONE example of the things that made him happiest and it drove me and some of his friends, crazy, out-of-our-gourd!!!!
Chuck loved swimming, he entered a Labor Day swimming marathon in Marin County from Siesta Beach to lido Casino Beach which was a 4 mile swim. He came in Third place but everyone felt he was the “big winner” of the event since he was a double amputee. In a gesture of honor, Lido Beach lifeguards ran into the surf and picked him up carrying him to the American flag which marked the finish line. As the crowd of thousands applauded Chuck, he reached up, grabbed the flag and kissed it (What-a-guy?)
He could do 60 laps in the swimming pool where he lived. He did a lot of kayaking off Dana Point and at Lake Arrowhead.
He loved dancing and was remarkably agile for a big fellow who had no legs. His love of music drew him to many concerts, musicals, movies and stage plays which included seeing Madonna in action of course!!! The Christmas holidays were his favorite! One time he and Victoria kept their “real” tree up until Easter!! Well that broke our family record when I was in the front yard. Someone cut the top off the tree fro us and that remained our Christmas tree until Valentine’s Day. Victoria said Chuck wished Christmas could be “year round”.. he loved the whole month!!! He love for oysters was known by all.. she said it was kind of an “Irwin thing” (not mine however). He was a great motivational speaker who helped anyone in need whenever called upon. I know he did real well at funeral services due to his great sense of humor.
A few other of Chuck’s pleasures included: Playing card games like Phase 10, Three’s are wild, and Rummy cube, Phase 10, Scrabble and Dominos; some of his favorite music came from ABBA, Kathrine Jenkins, Nana Mouskouri, and Sissel; A few of his favorite foods I fixed for him were navy bean soup, chili and turkey.
Chuck leaves behind the following “extended” family; Sharon Kelly Claudius, Gordon Claudius, Susan Seigrist & children Erik, Sean, and Shannon, Bonnie Haddad and Kelly Chellin and his favorite in-law Judi Irwin Bartell.
Friends: Leah Styles, Amber Leonard, Maurice Hansen, Michael Kleine, Tim Rabun, Terry Owens, Bill & Kathleen McCallum, Doug Kester and the rest of his pals at PATSEY’S.
Friends from Sacramento: Gaylene Mprton, Judy parsons, Cheryl Engel, Donna Pierini, Diane Caldeira, Ernestine Rich, LaVerne Robertson and Nora Nicholson.
Last but not least…..like any of us, Chuck was not a “perfect” person, but after writing this story regarding his life and times, I had tears rolling down my face as I recalled all the fantastic and kind things he did for us..we were only 11 months apart in age , but I never really got to know him at all until much later in our lives which I will always be grateful for.