James Arthur “Jim” Irelan, 96, of Centerville, passed away Saturday, Nov. 16, 2013 at the Golden Age Care Center in Centerville. He was born on July 31, 1917 the son of Ethan and Lucy (Musgrove) Irelan on a farm near Cincinnati. He graduated from Cincinnati High School in 1934 and attended Centerville Community College. Jim served his country during WWII with the US Army and was honorably discharged as 2nd Lieutenant on Dec. 22, 1943.
He was united in marriage to Marieta Lyons of Exline on June 1, 1941 and had one daughter, Sharon Wilson. Jim was employed at Bob Elgin’s clothing store for many years before opening his own business on the south side of the square, Jim Irelan Men’s Wear. Jim operated his store for 51 years and thoroughly enjoyed serving the people of the Centerville area. He loved the city of Centerville and served in many capacities there, always seeking to keep Centerville a thriving, healthy community. He loved Pancake Day and helped promote its celebration. He could be seen flipping pancakes for many years — a true love of his. He was honored by being selected to serve as the Parade’s Grand Marshal in 2008. Jim was an avid Rotarian and was the longest serving member with more than 60 years’ membership.
Another love of Jim’s was his Angus cattle “hobby” operation. He took great pride in owning fine breeding animals and experienced great pleasure in improving his herd. He was a longtime member of the American Angus Association, as well. He derived many hours of pleasure from working in his vegetable and flower gardens. The spring of 2013 marked the first year Jim did not plant his gardens in nearly 60 years. In 1989, Jim lost his beloved wife, Marieta. On Jan. 20, 1996, Jim married Ann (Trevisol) Herndon who brought two daughters, Georgia Lynn Howard and Patrice Herndon to the family.
In death, Jim joins his parents; his wife, Marieta Irelan; sisters, Alice Thomas and Ethel Irelan; brothers, Edward Irelan, Robert Irelan and William Irelan; and a step-daughter, Patrice Herndon.
Jim is survived by his wife, Ann Irelan, of Centerville; a daughter, Sharon Wilson and her husband, Jim, of Fort Myers, Fla. and Clive; a stepdaughter, Georgia Lynn Howard and her husband, Charles, of Oskaloosa; three grandchildren, Jim Wilson, of New York City, N.Y., Jeffrey Wilson and his wife, Anne, of Bettendorf and Brian Wilson and his wife, Jennifer, of Waukee. Jim is also survived by four great-grandchildren, Caleb, Grace, Sawyer and Emma Wilson and two step-grandchildren, C.J. and Brad Howard.
Funeral services will be held at 11 a.m. Wednesday, Nov. 20 at the First United Methodist Church in Centerville with the Rev. Dennis Gilbert officiating. Burial will follow in the Exline Cemetery in Exline. Visitation will be held from 2-8 p.m. at the Schmidt Family Funeral Home in Centerville with the family present from 6-8 p.m.
In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions may be made to First United Methodist Church, Golden Age Care Center or the Centerville Rotary Scholarship Fund and may be left or mailed to the funeral home. The Schmidt Family Funeral Home in Centerville is caring for Jim and his family and condolences can be sent at schmidtfamilyfuneralhome.com.