MISSOULA - Donald J. Ireland passed away peacefully at home from natural causes Sunday, June 22, 2008.
He was born Dec. 30, 1924, in Long Beach, Calif., to Fred and Eva Ireland. When he was 6 they relocated to Butte, where he attended St. Joseph's Grade School and Butte High School.
At the age of 17 he enlisted in the U.S. Navy and served in the South Pacific during World War II. Before his discharge he was assigned to Adm. Nimitz's personal staff in Hawaii.
Upon returning home, he went to work at the family business and married his high school sweetheart, Charlene Watts on Aug. 8, 1948. Their only son, Gregg, was born in 1949. In 1963, Don moved his family to Missoula to pursue a career in sales.
Don was a devoted family man and will be missed dearly. His strength, drive and true love of life was a great inspiration. He shared a deep love of the outdoors with all of us. There was very rarely an opportunity missed to go fishing while camping at Copper Creek and Seeley Lake. He loved his Griz and attended their football games for more than 30 years.
After retiring, Don and Charlene enjoyed the winter months in Arizona.
He was preceded in death by his parents, Fred and Eva Ireland. He is survived by his wife of nearly 60 years, Charlene Ireland of Missoula; son, Gregg Ireland and his wife Cathy of Missoula; four grandchildren, Robyn Anderson of Post Falls, Idaho, Patrick Ireland of Missoula, Angela Ireland of Boston and Casey Ireland of Bend, Ore.; great-grandsons, Dylan and Connor Anderson of Post Falls; and three nephews.
Memorial services will be held at 2 p.m. Thursday, June 26, at Garden City Funeral Home. Reception to follow.