Major General (Ret.) Charles
C. Irions, 82, of St. Michaels, MD passed away on Saturday, January
28, 2012 at EastonMemorialHospital, a victim of Pulmonary Fibrosis.
Born in Princeton, IN on June 24, 1929, he was the son of the late, Charles C. Irions and Flora Ellen Woods Irions.
Gen. Irions rose to his important jobs in the Air
Force and Industry by an unusual means. He entered the Air Force directly after
graduating from high school to attend college in a special program, going to
college half a day, and working in his military duty half a day. He became the
Air Force’s youngest Master Sergeant at the age of twenty-two. He then decided
to make the Air Force his career.
Graduating with honors from both OfficerCandidateSchool and Air Force Pilot Training, he began an exciting flying
and command career. Gen. Irions obtained degrees in
Business from GeorgeWashingtonUniversity and a MBA from AuburnUniversity. While in the Air Force, he was a distinguished
graduate of Squadron
OfficerSchool, Air Command, StaffCollege, and AirWarCollege.
Gen. Irions was a very active USAF pilot, flying
large military transport aircraft all over the world. His overseas tours
include pilot assignments in Munich,
Germany; Paris, France; and commander and flight duties in Sao Paulo and Brasilia, Brazil; and Vietnam, but his workplace was every hot spot reported in the
national news. He became a highly decorated command pilot in route to a series
of high-level command positions: the airlift wings at Altus AFB OK, Travis AFB
CA, and Scott AFB IL. He was the head of operations for the Joints Chiefs of
Staff in the Pentagon where he headed all forms of transportation for the Armed
Forces. Although selected for promotion to Lt. General, Gen. Irions opted to take early retirement after thirty-three
years of service and go into private industry as President of The American
Moving and Storage Association in Washington, DC. He would spend eleven years in that position until
retiring in 1992. He served on the Boards of Directors of numerous
organizations, including The National Defense Transportation Association and
The Indiana University School of Business. He was a life member of many
fraternal organizations and enjoyed all of them.
After retiring from industry, he was active in many community and church activities.
He served several years as president of his community’s utilities cooperative,
and was active in many capacities in St. Luke’s UnitedMethodistChurch in St. Michaels. Through his special efforts, a
number of premier military musical organizations performed in the various
venues in the Eastern Shore Community.
Having a close-knit and loving family, Gen. Irions
traveled yearly with the family throughout the United States and abroad. He was a skilled craftsman and an avid
He is survived by his wife of sixty years, Ethel Knox “Mickey” Irions of St. Michaels. Mrs. Irions says
jokingly, “she moved thirty times all over the world because her husband
couldn’t keep a job. ”He is also survived by his daughter, Leslie Irions
McKahan, an insurance broker in Orlando, FL, his son, Jonathan K. Irions, a chef in Estes Park, CO, and a granddaughter,
Molly McKahan, a third year Pre-Med student at the
University of North Florida. Gen. Irions was preceded
in death by his sister, Aldine Irions Zimmerman and
his brother Frank Irions.
A memorial gathering will be held on Friday, February 3, 2012 from at the Fellows, Helfenbein
& Newnam Funeral Home, P.A., 200 S. Harrison St., Easton, MD21601. A memorial service will be held on Saturday, February
4, 2012 at at St. Luke’s UnitedMethodistChurch, 304
S. Talbot St., St. Michaels, MD. Interment will be private at the MD Eastern Shore
Veteran’s Cemetery near Hurlock, MD.