Frank Irwin remembered  

FrankIrwin_obitFebruary 5, 1925 – January 16, 2015

Frank Willis Irwin, age 89, passed away January 16, 2015 at Boulder Community Hospital, surrounded by his loving family. A full time resident of Nederland, Colorado since 1996, Frank is survived by his loving wife of 60 years, Justine Fritze Irwin; his son, Charles Irwin of State College, PA; granddaughters Rachel Diane Lounlyvongsa and Theresa Ann Irwin; one great grandson, Brendon Serna; brother Robert Irwin of Green Valley, AZ.; and numerous extended family members and friends.

Frank was born on February 5, 1925 in Emporia, Kansas to Frank L and Anna W. Irwin. He is preceded in death by his parents, step-sister Neva Belle Wilcox, his son Thayne Laird Irwin, and adopted son Tomas Sabino Irwin.

He grew up in Stafford, KS where his father was the superintendent of schools. Frank dropped out of high school, going to work for Boeing Aviation in Wichita, KS before joining the Navy as a gunner in WWII in 1944.

After returning from the war he earned his G.E.D. and attended college at the Colorado State University in Ft Collins where he was a part time driver for Shell Oil and a Tour Bus Driver at Yellowstone in the summer.

Frank met Justine while driving a 1927 White Bus for the U.S. Mail service from Estes Park to Longmont, CO. They returned to Iowa where Justine was in school and were married on August 6, 1955.

It was 1957 when the couple returned to their beloved Colorado, and Frank completed his Bachelor of Arts in Education at University of Northern Colorado in Greeley.

His first teaching job was in Grand Lake, CO in 1959. Frank also began working with the National Park Service at Rocky Mountain National Park the summer of 1960. This was also the year his son, Thayne Laird was born on his birthday, February 5th.

In 1961 the family moved to Meeker, CO. where Frank and Justine were both teachers in the Meeker Schools until Frank retired in 1989. Frank continued to work each summer for the Park Service through 1978.

The summer of 1968 kept the Irwins in Meeker as they adopted their sons, Charles Anthony and Tomas Sabino Irwin. They returned to Rocky Mountain National Park the following year.

In 1979 Frank transferred to the National Forest Service run campground at Trappers Lake as part of the White River district. He honorably retired from duty in 1995.

In 1989 the Irwins moved to Green Valley Country Club in Arizona where they built a home and were members until 1996. It was at this time they returned to Nederland, Colorado and the family homestead. Frank insisted on working and joined the B&F Mountain Market family, where he worked for 11 years.

Frank was an avid sportsman, golfer and pool player. He was a dedicated Christian and a man of great integrity; beloved by all that knew him.

Please direct donations in Frank’s memory to ‘New Tribes Mission Aviation’ at or to the American Indian Christian Mission at – 924 Mission Lane #1 – Show Low, Arizona – 85901 Tel: 928-537-5912

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