Lester Cleveland Irby peacefully passed away on Thursday, March 7, 2019, at the age of 90, with his family by his side. He was born Nov. 15, 1928, in Wimauma, Fla. to Grover Cleveland and Shala Irby. He is survived by his cherished and loving wife of 65 years, Mae K. Irby; and his three children: Jim Irby (Christina), Carol Irby and Janis Irby (all of New Orleans, La.); as well as three grandchildren. He is predeceased by his parents and son, Richard Irby.
Lester graduated from Bay County High School, in Panama City, Fla., and enlisted in the United States Army in 1950, serving one year in Germany during the Korean War. Being a self-made man, he opened his own appliance store in 1971, in Orlando, Fla., and relocated to Madison, Fla. in 1980 – finally retiring in 2010.
In addition to spending time with his family and friends, Lester enjoyed gardening, fishing and all things FSU football. He and Mae were season ticket holders for more than 20 years, rarely missing a home game and traveling to many away games. Most home games would find Lester tailgating and talking football to most anyone who would listen. He was a member of Rocky Springs United Methodist Church (UMC) and was devoted to his church – and church family.
A Celebration of Life will be held at 11 a.m. on Saturday, March 16, at Rocky Springs UMC, 305 NE Rocky Springs Church Rd., Madison, Fla. 32340. Light refreshments will be served in the Fellowship Hall immediately following the service, where everyone is encouraged to share fond memories of this special husband, father and friend.
In lieu of flowers, please consider a donation to Rocky Springs UMC, C/O Peggy Rykard, 3805 NW Little Cat Rd., Madison, Fla. 32340 or a charity of your choice.
Beggs Funeral Home is in charge of the arrangements; (850) 973-2258. You may send your condolences to the family by visiting their website at www.beggsfuneral.com.