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Clarence Blackwelder Irwin, Jr

Obituary Date: Sunday, February 8, 2015

USA Brigadier General (Retired) Clarence Blackwelder Irwin, Jr., age 95, of Clarkesville, GA passed away on February 8, 2015, after a long and well lived life.

He was born May 8, 1919 in Durham, North Carolina, the only child of Clarence Blackwelder Irwin, Sr and Georgia Aileen Taylor Irwin. His father worked for the railroads and they moved often, living in Gastonia, NC, Augusta, GA, Greenville, SC and finally Atlanta, GA. During his high school years he was proud to achieve the Boy Scout Eagle rank. He graduated high school at Richmond Academy in Augusta, GA and from The Citadel in the famous and most decorated Class of 1941. After receiving his commission as a Second Lieutenant in the US Army, he was called to Active Duty and was aboard ship in the San Francisco Bay headed for the South Pacific when Pearl Harbor was attacked and his ship was redirected to Hawaii where he served in the 27th Infantry, 25th Division. During his 3 ½ years overseas he saw action on Guadalcanal and participated in campaigns in the Northern Solomons, New Georgia Island, and Luzon, Phillipines. He was awarded the Bronze Star and the Purple Heart Medals for outstanding service.

After being released from Active Duty he settled in Atlanta, and joined the Druid Hills Presbyterian Church, where he was a Scoutmaster for the Boy Scouts. He remained a member there for over 60 years and served several terms as deacon and elder in the church, and was honored to be chosen as an Elder Emeritus. He spent most of his civilian career with the J.M Tull Metals Company starting as a salesman, then purchasing agent, and was later Inside Sales Manager and Manager of Employee Relations. He retired from J.M. Tull in 1981 after 30 years of service.

Clarence proudly served over 30 years in the Georgia Army National Guard and retired as a Brigadier General. He served as President of the National Guard Association of GA, and President of the Purchasing Agents Association of GA.

He was a member of the Military Order of World Wars, the World War II Roundtable, the Citadel Club of Atlanta, The Palestine Lodge#486 and the Kiwanis Club of Atlanta. He was an active member of the Druid Hills Golf Club for many years and was a Life Member with 70 years of membership at the Atlanta Athletic Club.

In addition to his parents, Clarence was preceded in death by his beloved wife, after 60 years of marriage, Florrie Yarbrough Bryan Irwin.

He is survived by their four daughters, Susan Irwin Grills (Dennis), Laura Irwin Rogers (Terry), Dr. Nancy Irwin Weiss (Don) and Mary Irwin Spearman (Brad); grandchildren, Melissa James (Derek), Courtney Evans (Joe), Leslie Bacon (Tripp), Nathan Rhodes, Lindsey Rhodes, and Taylor Spearman; three great grandsons and two great granddaughters; and his very dear friend, Mary Ann Minyard.

In lieu of flowers, memorial donations may be made, in memory of Clarence Irwin, to: The Boy Scouts of America, Troop 48, 416 Rhododendron Lane, Sautee, GA 30571; The USO, P.O. Box 20963, Atlanta, GA 30320; Hospice of Northeast Georgia Medical Center, 2250 Limestone Parkway, Suite 222, Gainesville, GA 30501.

The family will receive friends at McGahee-Griffin Stewart Funeral Home 175 VFW Post Rd. Cornelia, GA on Tuesday, February 10, from 2:00-4:00 and 5:00-7:00.

Graveside services will be held 11:00 am Wednesday, February 11, 2015, at Floral Hills Memory Gardens 3000 Lawrenceville Hwy, Tucker GA 30084, with Dr. Phil DeMore officiating and full military honors provided by the Georgia National Guard.

A celebration will follow at the Atlanta Athletic Club 1930 Bobby Jones Dr, Johns Creek, GA 30097 from 1:00-3:00pm.

An online guest register is available and may be viewed at

McGahee-Griffin & Stewart Funeral Home (706-778-8668) of Cornelia is in charge of arrangements.
Funeral Date
02/11/2015 at 12:00AM
Funeral Home
McGahee-Griffin & Stewart Funeral Home