The Fence Post obituary: Charles Robert Irby
Charles Robert Irby, 85
May 14, 1933 – Nov. 4, 2018
Charles Robert Irby known to friends as “Bob” passed away on Nov. 4, 2018 at the Gunnison Valley Senior Health Care Center. He was born to Bernard and Irma Irby on May 14, 1933, in Iola, Colo. He grew up in Sargents, Colo., as a young boy and had an exceptional childhood with many friends, spending time hunting, fishing and swimming at Waunita Hot Springs. He graduated from Gunnison High School in 1951. He served his country joining the Army in 1951 until 1953. As a young man before and during his service years, he enjoyed participating in rodeos riding both saddle broncs and bare-back. He found the love of his life and married Goldie Irene McDonough on Sept. 19, 1954. He and Irene have been married 64 years.
Bob worked with his Dad in raising registered Hereford cattle. In 1957, him and his Dad went into partnership and purchased a close local ranch and started his ranching career. He worked part-time on the Colorado State Highway as a highway employee for four years plowing snow. Through the years, living his dream, he managed to put together four more ranches being joined by his sons, Stan and Dale, and established the current Irby Ranches as it is today. On Jan. 27, 2002, Bob received Leonard Horn Federal Range Livestock Man of the Year. This award is presented by the Colorado Cattlemen’s Association and recognizes individuals who graze livestock on federal land and practice exceptional range, soil, water and wildlife management. In 2004, Bob encouraged the family to consider conservation easements on the ranch. Between 2004 and 2008 they participated in three conservation easements covering 50 percent of the ranch.
Bob was a very active community member and served on numerous committees. He served as Cattlemen’s Day president from 1970 to 1971 and was a director for 20 years. He served on the Junior Livestock Committee for 16 years. He was on the Gunnison County RE-1J School Board for four years and the Gunnison Hospital Board for two years. He was president of the Gunnison County Stockgrower’s board of directors from 1979 to 1981. He is a lifetime member of the Gunnison County Stockgrowers. He was on the Colorado River Conservation District for 15 years from 1987-2002. He also served on the Upper Gunnison River Water Conservancy District for four years.
Bob was very progressive and successful in his ranching career. He was successful due to hard work, a little luck and a lot of foresight. He loved ranching and it was his true hobby. He worked every day to accomplish something on the ranch. He looked forward to trips with friends and neighbors to bull sales, and selling cattle and had many good memories and stories to tell.
He enjoyed the four-plus years of skiing with his family and fellow ranchers at Crested Butte. Occasionally, Bob and Irene and family traveled taking his family to Disneyland in 1970. In 1982, Bob and Irene traveled to the Caribbean with close family. They went to Mount Rushmore, Yosemite National Park, Mesa Verde, Zion Canon and Carlsbad Caverns.
A memorial service was held Nov. 10, 2018, at the Community Church, 107 N. Iowa Street, Gunnison. Burial was at the Gunnison Cemetery with a reception following at Webster Hall. In lieu of flowers, the family requests donations be made to the Gunnison Valley Senior Health Care Center.