Lillian Lorraine Irvin

Lillian Lorraine Irvin


Here is a story of a young farm girl from Minnesota, who was headed to St. Cloud State in the fall, but got a job in Yellowstone National Park for the summer at Fishing Bridge. Lillian was in the souvenir section where she kept noticing the cute WWII vet working in the fishing section. Bob Irvin was an avid fly fisherman. In order to get his attention, Lillian told him she was too. Not sure what happened on that first fishing date, due to the fact she actually knew nothing at all about fly fishing, but after that summer, Bob Irvin drove up to St. Cloud State in his red convertible during the winter, to see her again.

They would marry in the Lutheran Church in Kingston, Minnesota, on December 17, 1949. The two drove to Santa Barbara, CA so Bob could get his teaching credential. Their first daughter Nancy was later born there. They then moved to Susanville, CA where their daughters Karen and Anne were born.

Mom hated all the dirt and rocks in California compared to the green Minnesota farms she was used to. Her biggest complaint was not being able to grow any type of garden of her own. She eventually made many friends in Susanville, taught at the schools in town, worked for the Chamber of Commerce, belonged to many civic-oriented clubs, and she and Bob built their home on Richmond Road, where all three girls were raised. Mom was very energetic, as she was a walker and a jogger, an expert seamstress and made most of her girl’s clothes and costumes throughout the years.

After Bob passed away in 1982, she eventually moved to Chico, California, where she would go on to volunteer at the local hospital gift shop, feed the needy at shelters around the area, and spend holidays and summers with her children and grandchildren. Lillian was known for always having each of her grandchildren’s favorite treats when they came to visit. After leaving her home in Chico, Lillian would move to Tennessee, North Carolina and eventually South Carolina to live with, and be close to her daughters.

Lillian Irvin passed away on September 30, 2022, at the age of 94, in Bluffton, South Carolina. She was preceeded in death by her husband Bob Irvin, and her oldest daughter Nancy Irvin. She leaves behind her two daughters, Anne Irvin Armitage and Karen Irvin Prince; 5 grandchildren: Steve Prince, Stephanie Prince Brown, Spencer Prince, Suzanne Prince Pilgrim and Erin Armitage; and her 13 great-grandchildren.

Though Lillian lived in various places in her life; she always remained the same smalltown, headstrong farm girl from Kingston, Minnesota. Lillian Irvin will be mostly remembered for the care, time, acceptance and love she spent giving to her family during her life. Though we will all miss her witty comments and unplanned hilarious dinner table conversations, we all know she is overjoyed to be reunited with Bob and Nancy again, after many years apart.

A Celebration of Life will be held in the summer of 2023, in Susanville for family and friends. This date has yet to be determined.