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Dorothy R. Irwin


1919 - 2015 Obituary Condolences
Dorothy R. Irwin Obituary
DOROTHY R. IRWIN 1919-2015 Dorothy Robinson Irwin, 95, of Riverside passed away peacefully on Feb. 2, 2015 after a long battle with Alzheimer's disease. Dorothy was born March 8, 1919 in Chicago, Illinois to Richard and Lillian Robinson. As an only child, she spent her young life in Chicago and Cicero, Illinois. She attended Morton Junior College and studied at the famed Goodman Theater in Chicago. She served in the U.S. Coast Guard attaining the rank of Lieutenant Junior Guard. It was during that time that she met her life-long love, Ralph E. Irwin, Jr., a B-17 pilot, at a train station. The courtship ensued over the two-day train ride to Salt Lake City. Ralph proposed, but the wedding was on hold while Dorothy served in Long Beach, CA, and Ralph flew 33 missions overseas. They were joined in marriage Oct. 4, 1944. The newlyweds moved to Hollywood he as an MGM artist and she as a radio and stage personality working on the Judy Canova show and the Bob Hope show. Bob Hope once told an audience "Keep your eye on this girl. She can do anything." Her last radio show was in 1949 when Ralph was called back into active duty. Over the next several years, they were stationed in Merced, CA; Goose Bay, Labrador; San Antonio, Texas; Honolulu, Hawaii; Riverside, CA; Wichita Falls, Texas; and Tucson, Arizona. They retired back to Riverside in 1966 where Dorothy threw her energy into being a substitute teacher for Alvord Unified School District. She served in that capacity from 1967 to 1989, when she ran for the Alvord Unified School District Board of Education, a position to which she was faithfully dedicated from 1983 to 1992. She also served as an organizer for the Starcapades talent show, was a volunteer reader at local elementary schools, and a 40-year member of Wesley United Methodist Church where she served as a member of the Chancel Choir. She also was an accomplished pianist. Dorothy was preceded in death by her husband of 58 years, Ralph E. Irwin, Jr. Her survivors include her son Richard (Nancy) Irwin of Grand Terrace, CA; her daughter Phyllis (Mark) Coate of Riverside, CA; her three grandchildren Matthew Irwin of Grand Terrace, CA, and his fianc‚e Kayla Jordan of Redlands, CA; Kristen (Kyle) McKee of Redlands, CA; and Freddie Muhleman of Riverside, CA, and many children whose lives she touched as a teacher and board member. Memorial services will be held Tuesday, February 17 at 11:30 a.m. at Acheson and Graham Garden of Prayer Mortuary with interment to follow at 1:30 p.m. at Riverside National Cemetery. A reception will follow at Wesley United Methodist Church. In lieu of flowers, the family requests donations to the or Wesley United Methodist Church.
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Published in Press-Enterprise on Feb. 15, 2015
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