March 20, 2010 8:49:00 PM
COLUMBUS AIR FORCE BASE -- Mississippi Highway 786, also known as the Main Gate Road, will be boasting a new name next week. Mississippi Department of Transportation, family members and base officials will be on hand to rename the road George "Happy" Irby Memorial Parkway on Friday.
Columbus Air Force Base officials in coordination with the Lowndes County Board of Supervisors and the Mississippi Legislature will officially dedicate the state road at a roadside ceremony Retired Brigadier Gen. James Creedon, 14th Flying Training Commander from July 1973 to March 1976, will also speak.
A 50-year employee of Columbus Air Force Base, George "Happy" Irby Sr. passed away March 27 last year, on his 94th birthday. The street naming date was set to continue to commemorate his birthday. With March 27 falling on a Saturday this year, Friday was selected for the dedication.
"The Irby family is appreciative for the effort it took to make this memorial a reality," remarked George Irby, Happy Irby''s eldest son. "I hope this keeps the giving memory of my dad and all the things he stood for alive."
The Happy Irby Christmas Fund is a thriving private organization that has benefited thousands of adults and children alike. Last year, the fund was able to provide clothing and supplies to more than 400 children in the local schools and community. In addition, the Happy Fund has delivered more than 150 fruit baskets to shut-ins and elderly who would otherwise be alone.
TG commented at 3/21/2010 8:44:00 AM:
What a great thing to do Happy was a ICON at CAFB. I wish everybodys heart was as big. Thank you Highway Department.
Gregg Mims commented at 3/21/2010 3:42:00 PM:
A great honor for a great man. May God continue to bless the legacy of Mr. Irby.....
Margart Evans commented at 3/21/2010 8:31:00 PM:
"HAPPY" was a GREAT MAN and a Good Will Ambassador for the Columbus Club and CAFB. He was always jovial, friendly and a good friend.
I am glad his family pursued a way to remember him by coordinating with the Mississippi Highway Dept. and the Columbus Board of Supervisors, and the Mississippi Legislature to name the road for Happy. May his generosity all those dedicated years live on after him through his families dedication of remembrance of him. May we all have good memories of HAPPY and what his life stood for.
walter commented at 3/22/2010 4:07:00 PM:
A very befitting memorial to a giant of his, or any, time! I knew him as a neighbor and as the father of my classmate and father-in-law of my friend. He embodied a spirit of cooperation and mutual respect, across artificial barriers and unnatural divides. He helped lay the foundation on which so much of what is good about Columbus, Lowndes County, stands today. For that, as during his life, I thank him again for bearing crosses so that our generation, and those to follow, can have a better chance of realizing our God given blessings, not up there or over yonder, but rather, in good ole "Possum Town," USA. Thanks, Mr. Irby, Sr.
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