Euell Irons (John)
Sunday morning, June 2, 2013 dawned with the loss of the man we all knew and loved as John Irons, 89, of Salem, Va.
John was a quiet, sweet man with an infectious smile who came to the Roanoke Valley in 1983 with his wife, Madeline to be near family.
He was born Euell Roger Irons in Sinks Grove, West Virginia on September 29, 1923 to Juanita Scott Irons and Charles Vernon Irons. He married his high school sweetheart, Madeline Hill, in 1942. During World War II he worked in Baltimore, Maryland as a welder in the shipyards and returned to work on the family farm after the war.
In the mid 50s he moved to Chicago to go to school and later was employed by General Motors in Plant Operations for 25 years. He retired from General Motors in 1983 and moved to Salem, Virginia. Finding retirement boring, John put his skills to work first at Friendship Manor, then Lewis-Gale, and finally as the Chief Operating Engineer of the Marriott Hotel.
A man of many talents he was always willing to help on building projects or lend a hand to someone who needed a little work done…always with a smile and a kind word. Known for being quiet, he always explained that he never learned anything talking, but learned a lot listening.
John's wife, Madeline, passed away in 1994 of cancer leaving him alone and he wanting to do something worthwhile. He was active in church work, became a Gideon, and created a network of wonderful friends, including his very special friend Roy Lester who preceded him in death. Always close to his daughter, Jean Krueger-West of St. Louis and her late husband, David, they spent time enjoying each others company.
John had one sister, Joyce (Charles) Jeffries of Lewisburg, WVa. She passed away in 2006 followed by her husband in 2008. John is survived by his daughter, Jean Krueger-West of St. Louis; nieces, Carol Bland and Nancy Smallenberger of Lewisburg, W.Va; and a nephew, Charles Jeffries, Jr. of Romney, W.Va.
A memorial service will be held on Thursday, June 6, 2013 at 11 a.m. at the CommUNITY Church at 901 Russell Drive in Salem, Va. 24153 with Pastor Tom McCracken officiating. A small reception will follow. Burial will be private. In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to either the charity of your choice, CommUNITY Church Building Fund at 901 Russell Drive in Salem, Va. 24153, or the Sycamore House at 5439 Gravois Road in St. Louis, Mo. 63116. An online guestbook is available at www.johnmoakey.com. The Irons family is being served by John M. Oakey & Son Funeral Home and Crematory in Salem, 540-389-5441.