It is with great regret and sorrow that we must notify you of the death of our
Classmate, Jim Irish, on March 23, 2017, in Seattle, WA, of heart failure.
Jim was predeceased by his wife, Donna. He is survived by his
daughters, Virginia Irish and Melissa Irish.
The memorial service to honor
the life of James "Jim" Irish is scheduled for July 3, 2017 at Christ The King
Church 405 North 117th Street Seattle, WA 98133
Jim's sisters, Virginia and Melissa Irish, have invited all members of our class at West Point
and the Prep School Class of '57 from Stewart Field to attend this event.
Condolences may be sent to Virginia
and Melissa Irish, PO Box 30852, Seattle, WA
In lieu of flowers, the family asks
that donations in memory of Jim be sent to the American Heart Association,
PO Box 742030, Los Angeles, CA 90074-2030.
Jim. Be thou at peace.
Class Memorial Pages\B-1 Jim Irish.pdf
JAMES H. IRISH< EX-1961
Cullum No.600671 | March 23, 2017 | Died in Seattle, WA
James Herbert Irish III was born in Syracuse, NY on October 3, 1936 to James H.
Irish II and Arline Marie Herbrecht. His family relocated to Carthage, NY,
where Jim attended Carthage High School. Following graduation, Jim enlisted in
the Regular Army and later was selected to attend the Army’s preparatory
school for West Point at Stewart Field, near Newburgh, NY.
The United States Military Academy Preparatory School (USMAPS) was established
following World War II as a venue dedicated to providing refresher schooling
for military personnel who had become candidates for West Point.
Admission to service academies is governed by various categories of
appointments, most given by the United States Congress. The Regular Army is
allocated some appointments to West Point. During Jim’s year of 1956, there
were 28 appointments. Of the 128 military students at USMAPS, there were Air
Force and U.S. Army Reservists as well.
Of the 95 USMAPS students who entered West Point on July 2, 1957, three were
from the Regular Air Force, 12 were from the Reserve components, two had
presidential appointments, three were sons of deceased veterans, and 47 were
appointed by members of Congress. Jim was one of those qualifying for a
Regular Army appointment.
Jim and his classmates had the good fortune of receiving their initial cadet
training, variously known as New Cadet Barracks or, in cadet slang, “Beast
Barracks,” in the summer of 1957 under the leadership of the Class of 1958.
All positions, from squad leader on up, were held by the First Class. In prior
years the other upper classes, the sophomore “yearling” and junior “cow”
classes, were involved to various degrees, as they would be in subsequent
years. The significance of the First Class being in charge was palpable. They
were arguably the most mature cadets as a group, destined to receive
commissions the following summer and depart on active duty in the Regular
Army, Air Force and, in some cases, the Marine Corps. The age differential
alone made the relationship between new cadets and the senior class formal and
lasting. A well-known saying emerged: “Everything I am, or ever hope to be, I
owe to my Beast Barracks squad leader.”
Among the many activities in which Jim and his classmates were involved,
athletics became supremely important. Every cadet received the equivalent of
Basic Combat Training during Beast Barracks, so each was in top physical
condition by the start of the academic year. Every new cadet—“plebe” as they
are called once summer training is complete—learned to box, wrestle, swim and
Every plebe had the chance to try out for the Academy’s athletic teams. Jim
tried out for the Rifle Team, based upon his prior military service.
All new cadets were given a detailed orientation on the importance of
intercollegiate athletic programs as a part of developing a winning attitude.
This was particularly true with the major sports: football, basketball, track
and field and baseball.
In Jim’s yearling year, West Point’s Football Team was undefeated. Colonel
Earl “Red” Blaik, Army’s head football coach, had created a nationally
recognized program nearly as famous as the one that had featured Felix
Blanchard and Glenn Davis, the dynamic running back duo nicknamed “Mr. Inside”
and “Mr. Outside” during the 1940s.
The atmosphere during Jim’s sophomore fall season was electric. The United
States Corps of Cadets felt a sense of pride in their football team seldom to
be equaled ever. Army excelled in all sports, and Jim was an avid fan. Just to
watch the Army team’s practice was thrilling to him and his classmates.
Jim left West Point in the fall of 1959 and entered Rensselaer Polytechnic
Institute, where he received an engineering degree.
On September 3, 1960, he married Donna Virginia Ross. During their 52 years of
marriage, they had two daughters, Virginia and Melissa, both of whom entered
military service. Virginia chose the United States Marine Corps, serving 10
years. Her sister, Melissa, decided to serve in the United States Navy. It
must have been difficult for Jim and Donna each year during the Army-Navy
Football Game, and Amy-Navy athletic events of all kinds, wanting to support
their daughters but feeling extreme loyalty toward West Point. Jim and Donna
also were proud to have two grandchildren: Jessica and Michael.
Jim decided to pursue a career in real estate appraisal and found it
tremendously satisfying. Over the course of that career, Jim worked for firms
in New York state, the Federal Home Loan Bank Board in Topeka, KS, a major
real estate appraisal group in Seattle, WA, and finally at his own Firm: Irish
and Associates in Seattle.
Sadly, Jim’s devoted wife, Donna, was stricken with Alzheimer’s disease, and
Jim was her caregiver for many years. She passed on November 18, 2012.
However, Jim remained active in the Jaycees and was also heavily involved in
working on behalf of the Appraisal Institute-Seattle Chapter, as a member of
the legislative affairs committee.
Jim died suddenly March 23, 2017 from cardiac arrest while hospitalized due to
congestive heart failure.
He will always be remembered as a dedicated soldier, father and patriotic
Well Done, Jim; Rest in Peace.
— Virginia and Melissa, daughters; and USMA and USMAPS classmates