Colonel Gerald Lee Irwin

Colonel Gerald Lee Irwin, USAF (Retired) April 20, 1933 – March 5, 2017 Colonel Gerald Lee Irwin, USAF (Retired) died peacefully last Sunday night, March 5, 2017, in Hoover, AL at the age of 83. Known to his friends and family as “Jerry” or “Colonel”, he was a recent resident of Calera, AL, formerly residing in London, KY. Jerry was born on April 20, 1933 in Ashland, KY, son of Charles Curtis Irwin and Lucille Maphrey Kilgore Sanderson. A devout family man, he was preceded in death by his loving wife of fifty-nine years, May Rowan Cresswell Irwin, his son Leonard Cresswell Irwin, his daughter Margaret Ellen Irwin Armstrong, and his sister Sharon Lynn Irwin Knight. He is survived by his sister, Eleanor Kaye Irwin Kuhlmann and three children: daughter Elizabeth Douglass Irwin, daughter Emilia Field Irwin Mendenhall, and son Jeptha Kilgore Irwin. Jerry and May were blessed with six grandchildren: Robert Lee Jones, Sara Elizabeth Jones, Alan Irwin Armstrong, Ian Cresswell Armstrong, Caleb Isaac Irwin, and Eliza Madelyn Irwin. A graduate of the United States Military Academy and a 23 year veteran of the United States Air Force, Jerry served two tours of duty in Vietnam among his many assignments abroad. He epitomized the motto “For God, Family and Country” every day of his life. Jerry retired as a full Colonel in October 1979 to help his uncle, Jeptha Ramsey Kilgore, raise cattle in London, KY. Jerry was an avid fisherman, civil war buff, football fan, and antique firearms collector. He also mentored and counseled many people fighting alcohol addiction. Jerry will be laid to rest beside his wife May on Friday, March 10, 2017 at the Alabama National Cemetery in Montevallo, Alabama. His memorial service will be held on March 11, 2017, at the fellowship hall in the First United Methodist Church of Alabaster, 10903 Highway 119, Alabaster, AL 35007. Fellowship will begin at 10:00 AM followed by the service at 10:30 AM. In lieu of flowers, the family wishes donations made to the National Military Family Association. This is a wonderful non-profit aiding families and veterans alike. Donations can be made electronically at: NMFA Donations ( At the bottom of the Donation Page, please fill in the following information: In Memory of: Honoree Name: Col Gerald L Irwin Notification Recipient Name: Mimi Mendenhall (or Betsy Irwin, or Jep Irwin) Notification Recipient Address information (please [email protected] for address information).

1 Comment

  1. Roy R. Lorenz on July 21, 2020 at 9:10 pm

    I knew Col Irwin at HQ MAC, Scott AFB, IL in 1979, he was then Chief, Operational Support Airlift Division, I was then a Master Sergeant and worked in the same office with him. He seemed a reserved, somewhat serious person but, I believe, he had a forgiving, softer side.