Edwin Irland

Edwin Allison Irland

1929-2014 NAPA, CALIFORNIA Edwin Irland, formerly of 24 Pinecrest Drive, Lenox, Mass., died January 12, 2014 after a brief illness. A native of Lewisburg, Pennsylvania, Ned was born to Lillian Irland, homemaker, and George Irland, Professor of Electrical Engineering at Bucknell University. He attended Mercersburg Academy and received a BS in Electrical Engineering from Bucknell, where he was a member of the Orchestra, Varsity Wrestling team and Phi Lambda Theta, and where he met his future wife, Catherine Klotz. After he and Kitty were married, he went on to receive his Master's Degree from Stevens University of Technology in Hoboken, NJ. During his lifelong career at Bell Laboratories he was employed at both the Murray Hill and Holmdel, New Jersey research facilities, as well as at the Naperville, Illinois laboratory. He was involved in the cutting edge technologies of his day, held many patents, and was involved in the development of the integrated circuit, dial tone, switching systems, touch tone dialing and semi-conductors. He was a member of the Telephone Pioneers of America, a Volunteer Network consisting primarily of retired employees in the telecommunications industry. Ned and Kitty spent many happy summers at their family summer house in Edgartown, Martha's Vineyard. Following an early retirement, they relocated to East Northport, Long Island and later Lenox, Massachusetts, where Ned had time to pursue his many hobbies, including Shaker woodworking, sailing, rowing and kayaking, boat building, world traveling, gardening, mathematics and singingin the church choir, various barbershop quartets and community theatre musicals. An accomplished photographer, weight lifter, tennis player, watercolor artist, violinist and chess player, Ned was also an avid reader, particularly of Victorian and seafaring novels, philosophical essays, poetry and religious works. He and Kitty visited a number of countries, including England, France, Italy, Germany, Eastern Europe and Japan. Ned was a dog lover as well, and participated in agility trials with his beloved Sheltie, Maggie. Edwin was predeceased by his wife, Catherine, and is survived by his three children, Karen Shields of Pittsfield, Susan Lockary of Oakland, California and David Irland of Lenox; his five grandchildren, Peter, Timothy and Anna Shields, of Pittsfield and Evan and Kate Lockary of San Rafael, California; and his three sisters, Ruth Morton, of Rochester, New York; Margaret Short, of Houston, Texas; and Barbara Teramoto of Mesa, Arizona. Everyone who knew him will remember and miss his sense of humor and brilliant mind, as well as his eternal sweetness of nature. Edwin, a former member of United Methodist Church of Lenox, will be remembered in a memorial service in the spring. Details of the service will be released at a later date.

Published in The Berkshire Eagle on Feb. 4, 2014