Eugene Irish, 1926-2019

Eugene Irish

Eugene “Gene” Allen Irish passed away at age 93, in the comfort of his home, on July 19, 2019. He began and finished his life in Moab, Utah. His birthday was March 17, 1926 – which, paired with his surname, made him as lucky as Saint Patrick. He was the oldest of six children born to Claude and Irma Irish, followed by: LaRae Irish Gaskins, Dale Marvin Irish, Claude Max Irish, Arlis Irish Roberts, and Karen Irish DeVilbiss.

His sister, Arlis; his sister-in-law, Wilda Irish; and many nieces and nephews, especially those of the “great” variety, survive Eugene.

At the tender age of 16, Gene convinced his father to sign the appropriate paperwork to join the U.S. Navy and was enlisted, much to Claude’s surprise. He served for nine years as a Seaman First Class on troop carriers and fuel tankers in the Pacific Ocean. While stationed at Treasure Island in California, he met and married the love of his life: Agnes Mae (Kay) Irish.

After being discharged, the couple moved back to Utah and stayed together until Kay’s death in 2000.

Eugene made a career out of auto body repair and once said he enjoyed fixing cars much more than driving them.

Gene enjoyed fishing, building fences with his dear friend, Don Holyoak, and reading Western novels. He loved to get the full use out of any and all items in his possession and especially loved to be useful himself. A sign hung outside of his home that read, “A grumpy old bear lives here.”

While it’s true that he could sometimes be grumpy, he most enjoyed being around other people, telling stories to try and get a chuckle, and never stayed grumpy for long. He might have even talked off an ear or two. For Gene, every Thanksgiving turkey was just a distraction from the main attraction: pumpkin pie. Also, there could never be enough caffeine-free Pepsi or Pringles. He was a simple but most certainly a steadfast man.

A viewing for Eugene will be held at 10 a.m. July 29 at the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints Stake Center with the funeral at 11 a.m. Internment will occur at Grand Valley Cemetery.

In lieu of flowers, memorial donations may be made to any U.S. veteran organization.

Condolences may be sent to the family at