Dr David Jonathan Irby

Dr David Jonathan Irby

Birth
Woodbury, Meriwether County, Georgia, USA
Death 13 Jun 2015 (aged 87)
Elizabethton, Carter County, Tennessee, USA
Burial Nashville, Davidson County, Tennessee, USA
Memorial ID 147811974 · View Source
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Dr. David Jonathan Irby, 87, Professor Emeritus of Union University, Jackson, Tennessee, attended his last graduation ceremony on June 13th, 2015 at home, in Elizabethton, surrounded by his family.

Dr. Irby was born on November 12, 1927, in Woodbury, Georgia, to Wiley and Hattie Collins Irby.

David grew up in State Line, Mississippi, and graduated from State Line High School in 1943. In 1946 he served in the United States Army in Los Alamos, New Mexico. He then attended Clarke College, Newton, Mississippi, where he met Marilyn, his wife of sixty-six years. They were married in 1949 in Hattiesburg, Mississippi.

David was a member of the First Baptist Church of Elizabethton and also supplied churches in this area. He was an active minister for over sixty years, having been ordained at the age of twenty-one.

David loved travel and the outdoors, and he and Marilyn traveled extensively. His first love was collecting books and studying the Bible.

Dr. Irby was graduated from the University of Southern Mississippi in 1951 while serving as pastor of the Brooklyn Baptist Church. During his pastorate of the Crosby Baptist Church and the Calvary Baptist Church, Slidell, Louisiana, David attended the New Orleans Baptist Theological Seminary.

In 1960 David became pastor of the Hollywood Baptist Church, Memphis, Tennessee. During his time in Memphis, he received the Doctor of Theology degree from NOBTS. Dr. Irby began teaching for Union at the University of Memphis in 1965. This led to his becoming Dean of Students at Union University. During his twenty-seven years at Union, Dr. Irby served as professor, Dean of Religious Affairs, and the Chairman of the Religions Department. In 1983-84 he received the Faculty of the Year Award and the Distinguished Faculty-Staff Award. He retired from Union in 1992.

David is survived by his wife Marilyn of Elizabethton, his daughters, Dara Holloway and husband, Ron, Davida Jones and husband, Randall, Debra Smith and a special friend of the family, Julie Hatvany; his grandchildren, Brad Smith, Nat Strimpopulos, and Frances Kendrick; and four great grandchildren. All are from the Nashville area. He is also survived by a sister, Glendean Swearingen of Birmingham, Alabama, his nieces and nephews and a special caregiver, Stacia Brown.

Dr. Irby was preceded in death by his parents and four siblings.

A visitation will be held at Tetrick Funeral Home, Elizabethton, from 1:00 – 3:00 PM on Monday, June 15, 2015. The family will also be greeting friends and relatives at Mount Olivet Funeral Home. Funeral services will be held at Mount Olivet Funeral Home in Nashville with burial to follow in the cemetery.

In lieu of flowers the family requests memorial donations be made to the First Baptist Church, 212 East F Street, Elizabethton, Tennessee, 37643, or Union University, 1050 University Drive, Jackson, Tennessee, 38305.

Tetrick Funeral Home, Elizabethton is serving the Irby family. Office 423 542-2232.


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  • Created by: Shirley C. Ogle
  • Added: 13 Jun 2015
  • Find a Grave Memorial 147811974
  • Find a Grave, database and images (https://www.findagrave.com : accessed ), memorial page for Dr David Jonathan Irby (12 Nov 1927–13 Jun 2015), Find a Grave Memorial no. 147811974, citing Mount Olivet Cemetery, Nashville, Davidson County, Tennessee, USA ; Maintained by Shirley C. Ogle (contributor 46985286) .