Cover photo for Edmund H. Irvin 's Obituary
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1930 Edmund 2022

Edmund H. Irvin

January 5, 1930 — May 11, 2022

Dr. Edmund Harold Irvin - husband, father, pastor, philosopher, fisherman, storyteller, and global traveler - has escaped earth's surly bonds on a train bound for glory. He passed away on Wednesday, May 11, 2022 in Redlands, California, after a two-year battle with lung cancer. He was 92 years of age in January, an occasion he celebrated at that time with his four children and their families with a bay cruise of the San Diego Harbor.

"Eddie" as a Colorado kid, "Ed" to his colleagues and peers, and "Dad" to his children, he was preceded in death by his beloved wife of 64 years, Diane Ruth Tompkins, who died on February 22, 2015. Dad is survived by children Ruth Ann Walker (Frank), Joseph Irvin (Patricia), Andrew Irvin, and Amy Myers (Gary); grandchildren Russell Walker (Liddy), Dennis Walker (Becca), and Anna Myers; and his nephew Edward Powers (Sarah).

In the teeth of the Great Depression, Ed was born to Harold and Ruth Irvin in Colorado Springs on January 5, 1930. His older sister Martha preceded Ed to eternal life in August, 1965. The family moved to southern California in 1941, settling in Alhambra. He thrived as a student leader in both church and school.

Attending summer camp at Thousand Pines in the San Bernardino Mountains, a spiritual conversion took place that called Ed into a lifetime of Christian ministry.

After graduating from the University of Redlands in 1951, Ed and Diane were married before moving east to Philadelphia, PA. There, Ed attended Eastern Baptist Seminary. Upon receiving his Master of Divinity degree, he and Diane headed for Lincoln, NE where Ed served as Assistant Pastor at the 2nd Baptist Church of Lincoln. From there, he received the call to take his first pastorate at Maryvale Baptist Church in the suburbs of Phoenix, AZ.

His next call was a return to southern California as pastor of the Woodley Avenue Baptist Church in Granada Hills. Five years later, the First Baptist Church of Claremont called. During this time, Ed was able to pursue his Doctorate of Ministry studies, eventually earning that degree in 1974. That year, he accepted the Senior Minister post at the First Baptist Church of Reno, NV. In Reno, Ed led the Reno Billy Graham Crusade's visit in 1980. When a tragic hotel fire broke out in Las Vegas a few days later, he was asked to travel to Las Vegas by Rev. Graham and help provide spiritual support to the community.

Throughout his 44-year career serving the Lord and leading people through baptisms, weddings, funerals, and pastoral counseling, Ed and Diane had a belief: "God leads, we follow." This intangible yet simple philosophy guided his approach to helping countless people with all imaginable challenges. With his love of mankind and a thirst for travel, he was able to lead more than 15 tour groups to 37 countries and biblical lands across the globe, touching nearly every continent, meeting people of all walks and beliefs.

Among many other accomplishments were:
Distinguished Service Award from the University of Redlands (1980)
Adjunct Professor, University of Nevada-Reno Medical School, lecturing pre-med students on Interpersonal and Interprofessional Relationships Founder, Reno Church Sports League - basketball, softball, volleyball Weekly radio broadcast contributor on KNEV-FM (Reno) Baptist Camp leadership roles from Thousand Pines to Camp Frazier (Tehachapi's) and Sierra Pines (Sierra Nevada) Originator of the 8:27AM Sunday Church Service, with a casual style Leading a Backstage Bible Study at the Reno MGM Grand Hotel's "Hello Hollywood Hello" show for over 20 performers Preparing more than 2,000 sermons, hundreds of "Children's Stories," and presiding at many weddings and funerals.

After retiring from the ministry in 1999, Ed and Diane relocated to Plymouth Village Retirement Center in Redlands, where they distinguished themselves as both participants and leaders of various activities - of note was his "Cowboy Ed" persona, dressed in Western garb and strumming fireside favorites on his guitar; and an informative "Route 66" program that included some of his award-winning photography. Dad brightened residents' mealtimes daily by circling the dining room tables and telling a joke.

While mourning his loss, the family rejoices in the promise of God through his Son Jesus Christ: "everyone who believes in Him will not perish, but have eternal life" (John 3:16). Indeed it can be said of Ed Irvin, "Well done good and faithful servant."

A private graveside burial in Hillside Cemetery in Redlands, next to his life partner Diane, was held on May 31, 2022. Remembrances through this website are most welcome.



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