CHESTER - Irwin L. Post, 64, died peacefully on Jan. 14, 2018, at DHMC after a long struggle with complications from a stem cell transplant to address his leukemia.
Irwin was born Jan. 27, 1953. His boyhood was spent largely in Averill Park, NY. He developed strong interests in science, and under his father's guidance, he learned mechanical and engineering skills at a young age. He loved sailing on a nearby lake in a small sailboat and also in his homemade kayak fitted with his homemade sail. He enjoyed skiing, hiking and many camping trips.
Irwin earned a BS in Agricultural Engineering at Cornell University, an MS in Natural Resources at the University of Michigan–Ann Arbor, and a Ph.D. in Forest Engineering at SUNY-ESF in Syracuse. His employment included working for the Soil Conservation Service and as a professor at UMass Amherst, Vermont Technical College and Antioch University New England.
However, being self-employed was always what seemed to suit Irwin best.
He built his own businesses: the Radio Horse Corporation, Post Work and Good Wood. He used resources at hand to earn his living, and his businesses evolved over time. His work included fine woodworking, developing a line of wooden weaving looms, sustainable logging and working as a consultant for forest management and for wood-fired power plants. He also designed and built innovative logging equipment, a forwarding trailer, a sawmill, a radio-controlled logging winch and an edger, so that he could harvest logs from his land and turn them into lumber. He harvested and sold premium birch bark to builders and artisans. Irwin brought the mind of an experimentalist and an engineer to design systems that maximized the efficiency of his work. He was ahead of his time, constructing super-insulated homes for his family since 1980, and outbuildings of special integrity.
As a consulting forester, Irwin used systematic and innovative approaches in his work and constantly questioned conventional thought. He shared his insights by writing articles for the magazines Independent Sawmill and Woodlot Management and Northern Woodlands, and was a contributing author to the book, More Than a Woodlot.
Irwin and his first wife, Diane, homeschooled their two sons, Nathan and Brian, in Barnard, VT. His sons take after him with strong technical skills and share his love of the outdoors. In 2003, Irwin married Melissa and moved to Chester, VT. Living close to the land, they nurtured their interests with a large garden, extensive blueberry patches and a greenhouse. Irwin was involved in the Chester community as a volunteer EMT and a member of the Chester Conservation Committee. He contributed his expertise and donated wood to many local projects.
Irwin's generosity, warmth, upbeat personality and sureness of spirit left his family and friends feeling better for having spent time with him.
Irwin is survived by his wife, Melissa, and parents Dan and Frieda Post, of Chester, VT; son Nathan and his wife, Susi, of Malden, MA; son Brian and his wife, Lindsay, and their daughter, Summer, of North Springfield, VT; sisters Ellen Post Foster and her husband, Brad, of Edwards, CO, and Marion Caldwell and her husband, Tom Chicovsky, of Evergreen, CO; one niece and three nephews; and former wife Diane Post, of North Springfield, VT.
A Gathering of Remembrance of Irwin will be held at the First Universalist Parish, North Street, Chester, VT, at 1 p.m. on Feb. 10, 2018. A reception will follow at the Fullerton Inn, 40 Common St., Chester, VT.
Donations in Irwin's memory can be made to The Center for Northern Woodlands Education, P.O. Box 471, 1776 Center Road, Corinth, VT 05039. Donations will be used for the Irwin Post Speakers Fund.
Published in Rutland Herald on Jan. 20, 2018.