James E. Irwin Jr., 77, Kokomo, passed away at 8:20 a.m. Friday, May 24, 2013, at St. Vincent Hospice in Indianapolis. He was born Aug. 19, 1935, in Kokomo, to the late James E. and Opal (Denison) Irwin. On Feb. 12, 1982, he married Kathleen A. Cherry in Burlington, and she survives.
James attended Northwestern High School and received his bachelor’s and master’s degrees from Indiana Wesleyan. He served with the U.S. Navy from August 1953 until August 1956, and then with the U.S. Air Force from April 1957 until December 1964. He obtained the rank of Staff Sargent. James was retired from Delco Electronics, where he was a general supervisor of calibration.
He had his pilot’s license and enjoyed flying Cessnas out of Glendale Airport. He also attended Bible Baptist Church, and enjoyed auto racing.
He is survived by his wife of 31 years, Kathy Irwin; four sons, Jimmy (Chris) Irwin, Kokomo, Ronnie (Karen) Irwin, Noblesville, Bobby (Monica) Irwin, Westfield, and Jeff (Tanya) Irwin, Zionsville; a stepson. Jason (Alethea) Phillabaum, Kokomo; grandchildren, Holly Irwin, Brady Irwin, Ben Irwin, Karly Irwin, Tiffany (Jacob) Barnes, Brianne (Brian) Dale, Avery Irwin, Aliyah Irwin, Clayton Phillabaum, Corbin Phillabaum, Carter Phillabaum and Carrie Lahr; five great-grandchildren; a brother, Dick Irwin; a sister, Janice (Moe) Sprong; and a half-sister, Lisa Bandalier.
He was preceded in death by his parents; a stepson, Scott Phillabaum; and three sisters, Pat, Judy and Norma Jean.
Funeral services will be 7 p.m. Wednesday at Shirley & Stout Funeral Homes & Crematory, Lincoln Road Chapel, 1315 W. Lincoln Road, with Pastor Keith Treadway officiating. Cremation will follow services. Friends may visit with the family from 5 p.m. until service time Wednesday at the funeral home.
Memorial contributions may be made in James’ name to Bible Baptist Church, American Diabetes Association or the American Heart Association. Messages of condolence may be submitted online at www.shirleyandstout.com.
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