Life Reflection for Herbert & Sylvia Irvin
Herbert Irvin: March 31, 1929 - April 14, 2009
Sylvia Irvin: December 7, 1927 - June 25, 2020
They were known to friends as Herb and Sally, and Mom and Dad to their children. Dad was in the Navy during WWII, in a branch that is the Construction Battalion, or the Seabees. He was stationed in San Diego, CA. While visiting friends out of state, dad met mom. He swept her off her feet. It was a partnership that lasted nearly sixty years. Mom was pretty, kind, and level-headed, which was good because Dad could be so impulsive. Dad could defuse most situations with a sense of humor. He loved to make people laugh, especially Mom. We loved to hear Mom laugh. She really enjoyed singing and dancing. She played the electric guitar and organ. Gospel and country music were played in our house.
After Dad left the Navy, he had a lot of odd jobs. He learned almost anything very quickly. His job working on an oil drilling rig lasted the longest. We lived in a travel trailer and followed the rig all over the United States. That ended when Dad thought it was a good idea to take the rig to Australia. Mom said clearly, “No way!” So we headed for Long Beach, CA.
The oil fields were shutting down and Dad started working as a mechanic. It wasn’t long before he opened his own repair shop, “Herb’s Garage.” Mom became a co-owner, assistant mechanic and office manager. It was hard, dirty work, with long hours. They were in business for thirty-five years in Costa Mesa, CA.
Some years later Mom and Dad began going out to square dance. They enjoyed getting dressed up. They joined the dune buggy and motorhome club with friends from square dancing. The times the entire family gather around the table there was lots of laughter. Mom had a dry wit. One of those times the subject of mice came up. Someone mentioned mouse eggs instead of poop. With a straight face, Mom said, “Oh, I didn’t know mice laid eggs!” We laughed loud and long.
Our holidays were always special. Mom made sure of it, even when times were very difficult. She loved cats and one Christmas a cat decided to climb the Christmas tree. Mom calmly extracted kitty while we held the tree. Our house was full of animals, usually rescues. Dad was a great animal lover, too.
Mom was the glue that held the family together. She was tirelessly hard-working, loyal, loving, and selfless. Her passion for her husband and family expanded as she began to follow Jesus Christ. She read her Bible and loaded her grandchildren in the car for church. Her greatest desire was to know that each of her loved ones would be with her someday, for eternity.
This caused a strain between Mom and Dad, as he boldly resisted.
To our great surprise and joy, Dad responded to the Lord and Mom’s prompting and said “yes” to Jesus as his Lord and Savior, just hours before passing away. Mom lived eleven years after dad passed away.
II Corinthians 5:8: “To be absent from the body is to be present with the Lord…”
Mom was fond of saying,“If God is all you have, you have all you need.” Romans 14:8.
This is their testimony. “Jesus said, I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one comes to God except through Me.” John 14:6.
We, their loved ones, have great memories of them and miss them.
The legacy is their tenacity, resourcefulness, the ability to laugh even in the worst of times. Most of all, to love without wavering.
To forever cherish the memory of Herbert and Sylvia are their children, Linda Jahneke and her husband Bill, David Irvin, Lori Koza and her husband Tom and Johnny Irvin and his wife Pat; brother, Jack Lefler; as well as many grandchildren, great-grandchildren and other family members and friends. Herb and Sally were preceded in death by their sons, Douglas and Randal Irvin.
Don't grieve for me, for now I'm free,
I'm following the path God laid for me.
I took his hand when I heard his call,
I turned my back and left it all.
I could not stay another day,
To laugh, to love, to work, to play.
Tasks left undone must stay that way,
I've found that peace at the close of the day.
If my parting has left a void,
Then fill it with remembered joy.
A friendship shared, a laugh, a kiss,
Ah yes, these things I too will miss.
Be not burdened with times of sorrow,
I wish you the sunshine of tomorrow.
My Life's been full, I savoured much,
Good friends, good times, a loved one's touch,
Perhaps my time seemed all too brief,
Don't lengthen it now with undue grief.
Lift up your heart and share with me,
God wanted me now, He set me free.
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