Carroll Ernest Irvine, 89, passed away on Sunday (Feb. 2, 2014) at his home on the river in Belpre.
He was born on March 1, 1924, in Little Hocking, the son of the late Ernest Ballard and Mattie Agnes Cassady Irvine.
Carroll graduated from Belpre High School in 1942. He joined the Air Force in 1943 and attended Marietta College upon his return. He married Mary Lou Bayne on April 5, 1953 at Mullen Memorial Baptist Church in Belpre. They celebrated their 60th wedding anniversary last spring.
Carroll was proud to have served his country in WWII. He was a member of the 398th bomb group, 600th squadron of the 8th Air Force from 1943 to 1945. He was the flight engineer and top turret gunner on a B-17G, Flying Fortress. Carroll was a survivor of 27 combat missions over Germany and Czechoslovakia. He was the last remaining member of his crew.
Carroll was a member of the American Legion Post 64 for 68 years. He was a lifetime member of the NRA. Carroll was a pioneer in establishing the Little Hocking Water Association and served as president from 1968 to 1979 and as a board member from 1990 to 1998. Carroll was a member of the Belpre Masonic Lodge #609 for 53 years. He served as a member of the Warren Local School Board from 1966 until 1973.
After his tour of duty, Carroll went to work for the city of Marietta, then moved to Columbus where he helped build more than 800 F86 Sabre Jets for North American Aviation. Carroll and Mary Lou moved back to Little Hocking to purchase the Linger Longer Restaurant in November of 1953. They began a second business of selling recreational vehicles in 1964. Seven years later they sold the restaurant to concentrate on Irvine's Camper Sales, Inc.
Carroll is survived by his loving wife, Mary Lou; his three children, Tim Irvine (Jane) of Little Hocking, Tammy Cain (Robin) of Charlotte, N.C., and Philip Irvine (Nicole); and also three grandchildren, Ross, Clayton, and Haylen. He is also survived by his brother, Earl, of Bethel Park, Pa.
Services will be on Thursday at 11 a.m. at Leavitt Funeral Home, Belpre, with Pastor Kent Lowther officiating. Burial will follow in the Rockland Cemetery. Friends may call at the funeral home on Wednesday from 4 to 8 p.m. with Masonic services at 8 p.m. conducted by Belpre Masonic Lodge #609. Military graveside rites by the Marietta Legion and VFW.
Memorial gifts may be made to the Belpre Volunteer Fire Department or The National Museum of The Mighty Eighth Air Force, P.O. Box 1992, Savannah, Ga., 31402.
Online condolences may be sent to the family at www.LeavittFuneralHome.com.