Thomas Lee Irvin, 80

Thomas Lee Irvin, 80, from Murray City, Ohio, passed away Wednesday, March 31, in his home in Spearfish.

Tom grew up in Murray City, attended school there, and graduated from Murray City High School in 1958. As a boy he worked in his father’s grocery store and as a teen worked in local garages, including Jack Simon’s garage. He also worked as a farmhand on his grandfather’s farm, including horse-drawn equipment. After High School, he relocated to Springfield, Ohio, where he was assistant manager at a local grocery store.  In 1960, he enlisted in the Air Force and became an electronics technician with a specialty in radar and targeting systems. He became the electronics crew chief on the F-101 Voodoo, which was the Air Force’s top-of-the-line supersonic interceptor at the time. Tom left the Air Force in 1964, while stationed in Grand Forks, N.D. He followed his lifetime love of aviation and earned his commercial pilot’s license shortly after leaving the Air Force and worked at the Grand Forks Airport and as a corporate pilot for the Cox Bakery. In 1965, he met UND student, Delaine Anderson, and they were married later that year. Through the 60s and 70s, Tom used his electronics experience as a business machine technician in Northern California, Michigan, and North Dakota. Tom and Delaine divorced in 1979, and transitioned to working as a self-employed electrician.  He relocated to Columbus, Ohio, in 1987, where he worked as an electrician and handyman for businesses and landlords.  While in Columbus, Tom joined the Masonic Order, where he was Past Master of Community Lodge Building Company and maintenance crew. He was instrumental with Bill Strom and Jerry Marshall when they sold the building for $850,000. Tom was a 32nd Degree Mason and was well liked by all members. Later in life, Tom moved back west to Sheridan, Wyo., and finally to Spearfish, where he was active with the Civil Air Patrol, as well as his daughter and her family.

  Tom was preceded in death by his father, Earle Irvin, and mother Lucile (nee Thompson) McDonald, as well as his siblings: Aubrey Irvin, Helen Kirk, Vivian (Robert) Joy, Catherine (Clayton) Lee, William Irvin, John Irvin, Robert Irvin, and Mary (Norman) Mount, and niece Chris Irvin-Brown.

Tom is survived by his children: George and Laura Irvin, San Diego, Calif.; and Susanne and Jeffrey Mondloch, Spearfish, as well as his grandchildren, Alice Irvin, Kathryn Mondloch, Claire Irvin, Theodore Irvin, and Allison Mondloch. He is also survived by his siblings: Susan (Jim) Eckels, N. Canton, Ohio; James McDonald, Buchtel, Ohio; Joseph McDonald, Parkersburg, W. Va.; Pamela (Butch) Levering, Nelsonville, Ohio; Verna (John) Hayden, Pound, Wis., as well as nieces and nephews: Andy, Scott, and Steven Grinstead, Robert Irvin, Jean Irvin, among many others.

Tom will be laid to rest on Monday, April 5, at the Black Hills National Cemetery in Sturgis, officiated by Mel Miller and military honors by the Spearfish Honor Guard.

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