Jan 292014

Billy Lee Irwin, 73, passed away on Monday, Jan. 20, 2014. A Celebration of Life will be held at 2 p.m. on Saturday, Jan. 25, at the Winslow Elks Lodge Auditorium, with a potluck following.
Billy was born in Wasco, Calif., on Oct. 12, 1940, to Sherman Ivett Irwin and Hester Lorene Barker. He resided in Gallup, N.M., as a young child and moved to Winslow when he was 4. He attended elementary schools here, and graduated from Winslow High School in 1958. During that time he played football, baseball and, having a beautiful voice, sang in the choir, and acted in several plays.
He then joined the Navy on June 7, 1958, serving three years and three months. He was stationed at Norman, Okla., and later, at the Naval Air Station in Corpus Christi, Texas. He was honorably discharged.
After coming back to Winslow, he hired out on the Santa Fe Railroad in November 1961. He worked for the AT&SF and BNSF railroad for over 41 years, retiring in 2001 as a conductor.
He married Deanna LeGate in 1962, and had two beautiful daughters, Terri and Sherri. He later married Thelma Matney. In February 1996, he married Patti Conway Ansell and they were married for 17 years, until his death.
Billy’s hobbies were golf, bird hunting and fishing. His greatest love was art, and he became a very talented pencil artist, portrait artist, sculpting in clay, carving and many other mediums. He loved to travel, and if there was any water or even a puddle, he’d have to stop and wet a hook. Billy loved seeing as much of the U.S. as possible, but the trip to Alaska, driving the R.V. for six weeks, was his gift to himself and Patti for all the years of railroad service upon retiring.
Family, friends and home life were so important to him. Games of competition like golf, shuffleboard, gin rummy, dominoes and Dr. Mario were some of his favorites. But teaching a child to fish was his ultimate goal. He took pride in all the accomplishments of the children (including the grands and greats). Hosting the Class of ‘58 reunions was always fun and rewarding for him. His love, wit and caring will be missed greatly.
Survivors include his loving wife, Patti; his two daughters, Terri (Richard) Parsons of Winslow and Sherri (Bob) Haeuser of Chandler; stepdaughter Desiree (Randy) Bengson of Winslow, stepson, Destrey Ansell (deceased) and stepdaughter Darcee Williams of Winslow; two brothers, Charlie (Jackie) Irwin of Shady Point, Okla., and Jim Irwin of Winslow; his grandchildren, Laura Lee Parsons, Christopher Parsons, Devin Parsons, Kelsey Haeuser, Kendal Haeuser, Steven Bengson, Geoff Bengson, Evan Bengson, Stephanie Geer, Zane Ansell and Kara Shawn Ansell; his great-grandchildren, Delphi Lander, Stratton Salyard Jr., Christopher “Chipper” Parsons, Martin Bengson, Santana Bengson, Ivan Bengson, Aubree Geer and Addyson Geer; and bunches of nieces and nephews.
Greer’s Mortuary of Winslow was in charge of the arrangements.Billy Irwin