June 9, 1937 - April 10, 2018
Thomas H. Irwin passed away on Tuesday April 10, 2018, at St. Mary’s Hospital in Apple Valley, California. Tom was born June 9,1937, at St. Bernardines Hospital in San Bernardino, California to Harvey and Wauna (Galbraith) Irwin. His parents arrived as children, with their parents, in 1916 and 1923, from Kansas and Arizona. He grew up in Victorville, California, and graduated from Victor Valley High School in 1955, having been active in Boy Scouts, 4-H, football, tennis, marching band, AV Gun Club youth activities, and working for the VV Fish Hatchery. Tom enrolled in the University of Alabama from 1955 to 1956, where he majored in mining engineering and was on the rifle team. He transferred to the University of California at Santa Barbara graduating in 1959, with a bachelor’s of science degree. He was a member of the rifle team, involved in ROTC, and a member of Beta Beta Beta Biological fraternity. He attended a graduate program at Cal State Long Beach and earned a teaching credential. He received his master’s degree from Chapman College in 1970. Tom taught 7th grade at Hook Junior High for a year before joining the faculty at Victor Valley College. Over a forty year teaching career he taught biology, botany, zoology, anatomy, physiology, genetics, microbiology, marine biology, and oceanography. He organized and was the advisor for the biology club (who can forget the boat races on the lake at VVC). Tom was also the coach and organizer of the college rifle team, and served on the faculty board. In 1961, he married Diane Lee Chase, and raised 2 children and 2 teenage foster children. He is survived by his wife of 55 years Diane, his sister Judy Irwin, sister-in-law Carolyn Chase, children Geri Lee Irwin (Lisa), Tommy Irwin, and foster children George Colby Jr. (Karen), and Anita Romero Hahs (Gary). Tom had 9 grandchildren: Lori Kagebein (John), Catherine Hahs Brinkley (Tim), Christynn Ratliff (Jarod), Amanda Vaughn, William Binney (Berlin), Gabriella Casilla, Paul Casilla, Anna Dunham, and Annie Dunham; 13 greatgrandchildren; uncle to many nieces and nephews. Tom lived a life of service to his community. He was elected to the Mojave Water Agency where he faithfully served the community for 20 years. He was also appointed to various San Bernardino County boards: the Conservation District Board, Advisory Council Region 5, California Department of Fish and Game, Mosquito Control Study Committee, Scientific Committee, Air Pollution Control District Environmental Review Board, Desert Advisory Council, Victor Valley Infrastructure Steering Committee, California Site Selection Committee for low level nuclear wastes, Hazardous Waste Management Committee, Growth Management Task Force, General Plan Advisory Committee, and Associate Director Mojave Desert Resource Conservation District. Tom was passionate about protecting natural resources. He was a member of the American Association of Advancement of Science, Western Society of Naturalists, and the Desert Tortoise Council. He performed over 200 desert tortoise surveys for over 6,000 surveyed acres in the High Desert, and was the author of several ecological/lab manuals and publications. Tom was very involved in various community organizations: Apple Valley Kiwanis Club, Apple Valley Gun Club, NRA, Apple Valley Community Advisory Committee, VV Animal Protective League, High Desert Genealogical Society, NEHGS, VV Retired Teachers, VV History Working Group, Sundowners Camping Group, Riverside Cat Fanciers. A celebration of life will be held on May 12th at 1:00 pm at the Victor Valley Mortuary 15609 11th Street Victorville, with graveside service to follow. Please call for directions and RSVP for reception to Geri Irwin (760)927-8222. In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to the Apple Valley Kiwanis Youth Scholarships P.O Box 472 Apple Valley, California 92307; Apple Valley Gun Club Youth Program P.O. Box 786 Victorville, California 92393; Victor Valley Animal Protective League 21779 Zuni Road Apple Valley 92307, Attn: Thomas Irwin Memorial Fund.
Thomas H. Irwin passed away on Tuesday April 10, 2018, at St. Mary’s Hospital in Apple Valley, California. Tom was born June 9,1937, at St. Bernardines Hospital in San Bernardino, California to Harvey and Wauna (Galbraith) Irwin. His... View Obituary & Service Information
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