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John Shearer Irwin

1945 - 2016
John Shearer Irwin Obituary
John Shearer Irwin

September 12, 1945 ~ August 17, 2016


Just after midnight with a full moon lighting his way, my husband and best friend ceased to be in pain from a 13 ½ year battle with mantle cell lymphoma.

A gentleman and a scholar, John Irwin was a good and kind man with a zest for life. He was considered unique in his field of meteorology. He never said an unkind word about anyone and only saw the best in people.

John and his wife Rhonda proved to be better together than apart in their 26 year marriage. His love for his family, brother Joe, twin sisters Sue and Sarah, brother-in-law Darald, sister-in-law Gailyn and a host of nieces and nephews was unending. His love also carried over to Rhonda's parents Bruce and Voncile. He had a host of friends who enjoyed his wit and humor along with co-workers in the scientific world who benefitted from his expansive knowledge and desire to make a difference.

John enjoyed duplicate bridge, shag dancing and studying astronomy with the Raleigh Astronomy Club. He loved spending time at our condo on Topsail Island, usually with a good book in his hand.

John earned a Bachelor's Degree in Physics from Maryland University and a Master's Degree in Meteorology from N.C. State University. He served in the Air Force for 4 years.

John loved his science. He made substantial contributions toward the development and application of air quality models during his tenure at the National Oceanic Atmospheric Administration and the US Environmental Protection Agency in the Research Triangle Park, North Carolina. He is internationally recognized because of his numerous research papers in many scientific journals and his research collaborations with national and European scientists. John helped develop air pollution models that are being used worldwide.

In recognition of John's lifetime commitment to the advancement of science and its application to environmental policy-making, contributions to John's memory may be made to "John S. Irwin Scientific Legacy Fund" and mailed to: C/O CNCC-AMS, 303 Glasgow Rd., Cary, NC 27511.

In lieu of a formal service, a celebration of John's life will be announced at a later date.

I would like to express my gratitude to Dr. Stephen Tremont and Dr. Richard Adelman for taking such good care of John all these years.

"Rest easy now my love. Your Rhonda"

A service of Bright Funeral Home & Cremation Center, 405 S. Main St., Wake Forest, NC 27587 (919-556-5811)

Published in The News & Observer on Aug. 21, 2016
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