A Life Lived: Darrell Irick worked hard, but he enjoyed life’s fun times

Published 1:19 pm Tuesday, October 17, 2023

Darrell Irick had been a diabetic since the age of 18, but it was only in the last years that the disease got the best of him. For the past 10 years or so, his body had become weakened, so much that he was thinking about a kidney transplant.

On October 3, following complications from the disease, he departed this life and this world’s cares.

Darrell’s wife of 45 years, Lena, described him as a hard worker dedicated to his family and friends. “He was a workaholic. He farmed, did maintenance, lawn care, electrical work, locksmithing, and was a millwright,” Lena shared. Additionally, he built race cars, and his wife opined there was not an engine he could not tear down and rebuild.

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Darrell enjoyed gardening, fishing, camping, RVing, and boating. The family enjoyed going to Myrtle Beach a couple of times a year with friends.

Darrell and Lena were the parents of three children: April, Ginger, and Cody. Additionally, they had seven grandchildren. 

Ironically, Darrell and Lena were born only a couple or so days apart at the old Carter County Memorial Hospital and their families lived only a skip and hop from each other. Darrell’s family moved when he was a boy, but Darrell and Lena met again in high school and, after dating for two years, were married. “We both were family-oriented, loved our children, and enjoyed gardening, and canning what we grew. It was hard work, but we were able to help a lot of other families along the way by sharing from our garden,” Lena said.

Darrell enjoyed learning new things, and being with people. Among the family events he enjoyed with Lena’s family were making molasses and apple butter.

He also enjoyed dirt track racing and had built his own race car.

Lena shared that Darrell never knew anything but hard work. Yet, whatever he did, he gave it his all. “He was a good old country boy, a good husband, and father, and a friend to many,” she said. 

Darrell enjoyed learning new things and making new friends. “Though it was hard, Darrell had a wonderful life. He appreciated nature and loved getting his hands in the dirt and growing things. He was very family-oriented and would have given his last dollar to his brothers and sisters.” said Lena.

He enjoyed taking his grandbabies for rides on his tractor and would take the neighborhood children for rides in his golf cart. “Other children called him ‘Pa’ just like his grandkids did,” shared Lena.

“We have so many good memories of Darrell, especially around holidays. For the past 10 years, I had been his caregiver. He enjoyed watching NASCAR races on TV, westerns, and the Moonshiners. During the holidays, it was a family tradition to watch Rudolph and Frankie I and II,” Lena said.

She added, “To Darrell, life was pretty simple. He enjoyed the little things as much as he did the big things. He liked family traditions, and began a lot of them in his lifetime.”

“Diabetes is an extremely cruel disease. In the end, there aren’t many good days, but Darrell made the best of every day. He gave us so many memories and provided us with so many laughs, kind words, and good times. I was blessed to have him as a husband, and my children are blessed to have him as a father,” Lena concluded.

Darrell Irick died at the age of 63. A celebration of life was held at Centerview Church of Christ. “He was happiest when he was able to attend church and fellowship with friends. He was an amazing man,” said Lena.

We can learn much from Darrell Irick and share in his hard-fought lessons of work and life.