Ronald D McIrvinRonald D McIrvin, 79, of Wrangell, AK, passed away on February 26, 2016 in Wenatchee, WA succumbing to colon cancer while attended by his family. Ron was born on August 21, 1936 in Yakima, WA but grew up in Vancouver, WA, and graduated from Vancouver High School in 1954. He earned a Bachelor of Science in Mechanical Engineering from the University of Washington
in 1958 and the following year started a nearly twenty year career with the Boeing Company in Renton, WA, working in the Propulsion Group on the design of 707, 727, 737, and KC-135 aircraft. While at Boeing, he met his wife, Patricia Louise Swanson, and they were married on June 24, 1961; they enjoyed 54 years of marriage together. Ron left Boeing in 1963 and returned to the University of Washington and earned a Master's of Science in Civil Engineering and then took a position with the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers in Seattle. After three years with the Corps, Ron returned to Boeing and his familiar Propulsion Group in Renton, WA for the next twelve years. Not afraid to go in new directions, Ron made a career change in 1980 and moved to Ellensburg, WA and took up farming on a two hundred acre hay and grain farm. After five years of farming, Ron got the itch to return to engineering and took a position with the Washington Department of Wildlife and commuted to Olympia, WA. He retired from this full-time position in 1990 but continued to do part-time contract engineering for the Wildlife department for the next ten years. In another life change, Ron and Pat purchased property in Wrangell, Alaska and moved there in 2000. They immensely enjoyed the next 13 years in Wrangell, improving their waterfront property, fishing for salmon and halibut, and making several close friendships with others in the Wrangell community. Ron particularly enjoyed his time on the waters around Wrangell in his wooden boats and dabbling in commercial fishing with his hand trolling license. The call of farming was still strong, though, and in 2013, Ron and Pat made another transition by moving to Powell, WY on five hundred acres of farmland. They leased the tillable land and enjoyed living in the high mountain desert but still chose to split their time between Wyoming and Alaska for the next two years. Ron will be remembered for his loyal friendships, meticulous engineering work, and fine craftsmanship on the wooden boats he loved to build, but most of all he will be remembered and severely missed by his loving family for being an outstanding husband and father. Ron was preceded in death by his parents, Delsarte and Mildred McIrvin, and by his younger brother Robert. He is survived by his wife Patricia, sons Andy (Polly) and Jeff (Ellen), sister Patricia (Jerry), and six grandchildren. The family will hold a memorial service at a later date in his last home of Wrangell, Alaska. In lieu of any flowers, the family requests donations instead be made to the in his name.