We are deeply sorry for your loss - the staff at Turcotte-Piper Mortuary
Frank Ross Irby was born June 4, 1931 in Austin, Texas, and went to his Heavenly home on Sunday, June 5, at the age of 91, in Spring, Texas. He was the youngest of three children born to parents William Hudson Irby and Mabel Ingram Irby, who both preceded him in death, along with his two brothers, William Irby and Robert Irby.
Frank lived a full life and accomplished much along the way. He was a loving and devoted husband to his wife of 68 years, Margaret (Jimi) Irby, and a beloved father to three children: Ross Irby, wife Kay, daughter Sharla Irby Neessen, sons Robert and Tyler Irby; Diane Irby Jefferies, husband David, sons Hayden, Reese, and Kendal Jefferies; Scott Irby, wife Jana, daughter Bayley Irby Applegate and son Braden Irby. In addition to those family members, he leaves behind 4 great-grandchildren, and a number of nieces and nephews.
Frank graduated from Plainview High School in Plainview, Texas, in 1949 and attended Wayland Baptist College in Plainview. He was a charter member of the Wayland International Choir where he met Jimi, the love of his life. They married in 1954. After graduating with his BBA degree in marketing from North Texas State University in 1953, Frank joined the U. S. Navy, was commissioned as a naval officer, and served on active duty for three years in the Pacific area, specifically during the end of the Korean War. He obtained the rank of Commander while serving in the U. S. Navy Reserve for 26 years on inactive duty. Frank was an American Patriot thru and thru and enjoyed wearing his Navy uniform on special occasions, including when he swore in his grandson into the U. S. Marines in 2017, a major highlight of his life.
It was during this inactive time that he became a successful businessman, owning a small chain of variety stores, Irby’s Five and Dime, which at one time included five stores, in Kingsville, Bishop, Refugio, Plainview, and Hale Center, Texas. The Kingsville store closed in 1973 after 25 years in business, and Frank began his employment at First Texas Savings Association in Kingsville, originating home loans and also serving as assistant staff appraiser, later becoming President. He also served as Executive Vice President at Mercantile National Bank in Kingsville in 1981 and then moved to Balcones Banc Savings Association in San Marcos, Texas in 1983 where he was Vice President in charge of lending. He enjoyed working for the McCoy family-owned bank.
After retiring from banking, Frank started Affordable Lawn Care, and turned a much-loved hobby into a lucrative business for over 20 years. He enjoyed making people happy. He was honest and dependable and his clients appreciated those qualities he instilled in his business. He passed his work ethics down to his children. He loved to be outdoors and spent many cold mornings in a deer stand with his boys, enjoying every minute of it.
Frank and Jimi traveled to over 11 countries on military aircraft, a benefit from serving his time in the Navy. A Grecian Islands cruise on their 50th wedding anniversary was their favorite excursion and memory.
Frank’s love for the game of tennis began in high school and continued into his adult years. He played regularly in the neighborhood and won first place in many city-wide tournaments. He considered himself quite a jokester and prided himself as the king of corny “Dad” jokes, only later to become “Daddy Frank” jokes when he told the same corny ones to his grandkids. Frank recently entertained the residents of his assisted living facility with his impressive yo-yo tricks. He taught himself the fancy tricks while working in the dime store, then performed them outside his store, encouraging the sidewalk shoppers to “Come on in and buy a yo-yo and you, too, can do these tricks!”
Frank was a member of the Kingsville Kiwanis Club and enjoyed serving the community thru that organization. He served as a Deacon in Kingsville’s First Baptist Church, and San Marcos’s First Baptist Church, and in both adult choir ministries, later moving to Wimberley’s First Baptist Church. Frank was also an active member of the Singing Men of South Texas, a singing group composed of Ministers of Music and church musicians and Baptist members in South Texas. After moving to Spring in 2014, he and Jimi joined Champion Forest Baptist Church and became members of the Solid Rockers Senior Adult Choir and the Mountain Climbers Life Group, where they have made many dear friends.
A funeral service will be held for family and friends at Turcotte-Piper Mortuary in Kingsville, Texas, on Saturday, June 11, 2022, at 10:30 a.m., with a visitation beginning at 9:30 a.m. Interment will follow at Chamberlain Cemetery with military honors.
Pallbearers include his grandsons: Hayden Jefferies, Reese Jefferies, Robert Irby, Tyler Irby, Braden Irby, and Kendal Jefferies. Honorary Pallbearer is Michael (Scooter) Tyra.