Irvin S. Barrow passed away on Saturday, August 3, 2013, after a happy and fulfilled life. Born in Columbus, Ohio on January 8, 1924, to Irvin S. Barrow and Beatrice Hunter Barrow, Irvin later moved to Toledo with his family where he graduated from DeVilbiss High School. He worked briefly at the Toledo Scale before enlisting in the Army where he served in the 324th Infantry division during World War II. He drove a truck during the war often pulling an artillery piece or carrying supplies. He landed on Omaha beach three days after D-day and supported Patton during his march across Europe, including being involved in the Battle of the Bulge. During his service, Irvin was impressed with the devotion of the Catholic GIs in his unit, so he chose to enter the Catholic Church and was baptized in a field outside Saint Lo, France. He was a strong and devout Catholic the rest of his life. Irv was honorably discharged in 1945. He returned after the war to be reunited with the love of his life, Rosemary Gill.
Rosemary and Irvin were married at St. Ann's Church on June 28, 1947. Their passion for dancing at the Trianon ballroom, and other Toledo area hotspots, was a regular event even after their children, Sandy and Craig were born. Irv, or Curly as he was affectionately known, worked for the Babcock Dairy for 35 years as a route salesman (a milkman). His friendly smile and engaging personality made him very popular with his customers. He successfully ran the largest dairy route in Northwest Ohio and served as the Teamster Union Steward for the Babcock Dairy. His life was dedicated to helping and serving others.
Irv had a lifelong entrepreneurial spirit. He bought, renovated and rented houses while working at the dairy and when the dairy closed in 1982, he got his real estate license, sold insurance for American General and delivered the Toledo Blade on two different paper routes. His love for people and service and his natural leadership abilities were demonstrated by his volunteer work with the CYO talent shows, as president of both the International Ballet Company board of trustees and the Central Catholic Band Boosters. Later he was treasurer for the 324th Army Reunion Group and was the manager of the Windermere Condos while he lived there. He was also taught CCD classes and served as a Lay Distributor and Lector at St. Ann's Parish.
Irvin was preceded in death by his siblings, Raymond, Kenneth, Thomas, and Juanita and is survived by his younger brother, James. Rosemary died in 2006, after a long struggle with Alzheimer's. Surviving are his children, Sandra (David) Harding, Craig (Debra) Barrow, and his grandchildren, Jon David Harding, Bethany (Phil) Borre, Rebecca (Eric) Buckman, and Christopher Barrow. He is also survived by his great-grandchildren, Autum Harding, Zoe Buckman and Ava Buckman, and lifelong friends and in-laws, Gene Creecy and Mary Barrow.
Family and friends may visit on Wednesday from 2:00-8:00 p.m. at Sujkowski Funeral Home Northpointe, 114 E. Alexis Rd., with a Scripture Service at 7:00 p.m. Funeral Services will begin on Thursday at 10:15 a.m. in the funeral home and continue with the Funeral Mass in Gesu Catholic Church at 11:00 a.m. The Lucas County Burial Corps will conclude with a Military Committal Service in Calvary Cemetery.
Irvin was a model to his children and a hero to his grandchildren, the very best of the Greatest Generation. He was a man of strong faith, deep integrity and endless generosity who faced struggles without complaint and left a legacy of honor and gratitude to all who met him. His life was a blessing to so many and he will be missed.
The family wishes to thank the staff at Wolf Creek Lutheran Village and Odyssey/Gentiva Hospice for the exceptional care they provided. Please make any contributions to the Lutheran Village at Wolf Creek. Online condolences and memories can be shared at:
Published in Toledo Blade from Aug. 6 to Aug. 7, 2013