|Lieutenant Colonel Donald
Donald Loren Irwin, age 78, of Sacramento, died on Feb. 21, 2009, after bravely battling cancer and Lewey Bodies Dementia for years. He is survived by his wife, two daughters and a son, two sisters, five grandchildren, and numerous nieces and nephews. Colonel Irwin was born on July 25, 1930, in Basin, Wyo. He spent much of his youth in Alaska's Matanuska Valley where his father directed an experimental farm for the U.S. Government. After graduating with an economics degree from Willamette University in Oregon, he joined the Air Force for 21 years, serving first as a navigator and later as a pilot. He was a decorated veteran of two tours in Vietnam (458th, 1970). A testament to his skill and composure is that he twice saved aircraft after complete engine failures in flight.
While early in his Air Force career, he met his future bride of 54 years, Maurice ''Maurie'' (Callaghan) of Sacramento. They were blessed with two daughters, Lizabeth Ahern of Fort Washington, Md., and Andrea Silva of Sacramento, and a son, Robert Irwin of Soledad, Calif. They were further blessed with five adoring grandchildren, Derek and Jennifer Ahern, Carl Silva, and Geovanni and Joshua Irwin. Donald is survived by sisters Mary Estella Odsather of Wasilla, Alaska, and Ina Belle Kennedy of Bellingham, Wash.
After retiring from the Air Force in 1973, Donald worked in real estate and banking before managing the successful startup of California Image Associates in Rancho Cordova. He was active in the Kiwanis Club and also volunteered with the Sacramento Police Department before becoming completely disabled. He is at peace now. God bless him eternally.
There was a Vigil Service on Wednesday, February 25, 2009, at 7:00 p.m. at Nicoletti, Culiis & Herberger Funeral Home, 5401 Folsom Blvd., 451-7284, and a Funeral Mass on Thursday, February 26, 2009 at 11:00 a.m. at ST. MARY'S CHURCH, 58th & M Streets. Private interment, St. Mary's Cemetery.