Donald Irwin Jr. was born in Gadsden, Ala., to Marcus and Nell King Irwin on April 19, 1941. His father died of cancer when he was 18 months old. His mother remarried Ervin Johnson and they moved to Cullman County, where they farmed.
In 1955, they bought a farm near Grant and he went to DAR and played basketball for them. He was moved to varsity in 9th grade.
He met his future wife Faye Davis at the “swimming hole” for all the local kids and grown ups, at the time near Columbus City, in 1956. They soon started dating and were married on January 24, 1959, and have been best friends for 62 years.
He got a job at the Times Journal then returned near Grant where he and his sister in law commuted until he got on at the Huntsville Times in 1962.
He worked for The Times 38 years, for a total of 41 years in the newspaper business. He worked in the composing room all of the time except about the last two years. J
He decided how many pages the paper would have and laid it out. He retired on August 1, 2001. He and Faye traveled quite a bit to the West Coast where her sister lived and to Canada where Faye's sister-in-law had a cottage on the lake. They built their house on Dug Hill Road in 1965 and lived there for 57 years.
He was always content whether he was at home or traveling, He was at his happiest being with his wife, children, grandchildren, great grandchildren and extended family.
A friend in Iowa said if you couldn't get along with Don, you couldn't get along with anyone.
He gave many tractor and wagon rides to his kids, grandkids, nieces, nephews, and neighbor kids. He was good to all of them. He used to load them up on his pick-up and take them to the store for candy and ice cream. He would also load all of them up and take them to a movie, car race or swimming. He was very patient with all of them.
Don also loved to play volleyball, horseshoes and checkers, which he was very good at. He loved country and bluegrass music and enjoyed picking his banjo. Don enjoyed wood carving and he and Faye used to travel to Missouri every March for a woodcarving seminar at Silver Dollar City.
Don was a very good driver and was always the "designated" driver on road trips.
Their house was always the gathering place and they used to feed 20-25 family and friends about every Sunday. He would grill turkey, ham, pork butts, hamburgers, hot dogs, or steaks, deep fry chicken or fish and hushpuppies and fries. He always fixed plenty and there were lots of "to go" plates. One friend said if you left there hungry, it was your own fault.
Flowers accepted or donated to New Salem Baptist Church on James Road, Owens Cross Roads, Ala., or donate to a favorite charity.