Hal Irish, a resident of Edgefield, S.C., died Wednesday, January 20, 2016, age 89 years. Born January 18, 1927, he lived most of his life in Northern California until his move to Edgefield in 2006, where he lived with the love of his life, Henrietta Odell Humphreys, who survives him. Also surviving are his sister, Marilyn Jean Taube of San Leandro, CA, his adored children, Michael Irish of Renton WA, Nancy Irish of Sebastopol, CA, and Steven Irish of Houston, TX, their spouses, grandchildren and great-grandchildren.
A child of the depression, the family moved frequently when money was short. Little Hal was sent to live with his grandmother on a 180 acre ranch in the hills of western Sonoma County. It was pure adventure for a small boy; no electricity, plumbing, or telephone, and a mile long walk on a dirt road to the one room schoolhouse.
As the depression lifted, the clouds of war gathered in Europe. Hal was working his father’s service station when Pearl Harbor was bombed. Mr. Irish served first in the U.S. Merchant Marines in the South Pacific during the invasions of Guam and the landing in the Philippine Islands at Leyte, and later in the U.S. Army at Adak in the Aleutian Islands. After his discharge he attended college and law school, receiving a Doctorate of Laws from University of California Hastings College of the Law. A practicing attorney, he was a member of the State Bars of Washington and California, first as a City Attorney and later in private practice as a trial lawyer.
A prolific writer, he wrote many plays and scripts and songs. He was a member of E Clampus Vitus, the National Liberty Ship Memorial (the S.S. Jeremiah O’Brien) the Edgefield Camellia Club, and various other organizations.
In his words: “My life has been wonderful, that is true: full of wonder. I have been so fortunate in everything, so that even my bad decisions or ill fortune seem inconsequential. I have had good family, good health and contrived to stay out of harm’s way. That, and the love of my wife, sister and children, have sustained and nourished me. If there is a Goodness, I say Thank Goodness.”
A celebration of his life will be held at a future date. Edgefield Mercantile Funeral Home is in charge of arrangements.