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John "Bill" Irish

John "Bill" Irish

John "Bill" Irish, 73, Steele, passed away after a courageous battle with cancer.

Services will be held at 10:30 a.m. Saturday, September 16, 2017, at Trinity Luther Church, Steele, with Pastor Jacob DeBoer officiating.

Burial will be at the Woodlawn Cemetery, Steele.

Visitation will be held from 5:00 pm - 7:00 pm Friday, September 15th, at the Eastgate-Steele Memorial Chapel in Steele, ND.

To properly honor the memory of John, the public visitation will be a closed casket occasion. Family members will be present to greet mourners.

John was born Nov. 18, 1943, to Casper and Gertrude (Jennings) Irish of Tacoma, WA. John moved to North Dakota in the early 1960's with his mother, where they ran a dairy farm south of Dawson on the Jennings' land. John married Carol Staten of Tacoma, WA, and to this union two sons were born, Douglas and Duane. John and Carol later divorced.

John served in the U.S. Army and was honorably discharged after serving as a helicopter mechanic for three years in Viet Nam. In the years after returning from the military, John farmed and worked at the Medina Cheese Plant, was a bartender and maintenance supervisor at the Lone Steer in Steele, and drove school bus. It was during this time that he met Neda Nelson. John and Neda were married June 26, 1981, and to this union two sons were born, Allen and Matthew.

John was a dedicated husband, father, and grandfather who always put his family first. He enjoyed being with family and friends. His demeanor was tough on the outside and yet his heart and love for his family and friends was just under the surface of that tough exterior. He was always willing to lend a helping hand to anyone in need and his heart was putty when it came to his grandchildren. He liked a good joke and had a sense of humor that few people got to see.

John enjoyed the great outdoors and loved camping and fishing. In his spare time he could be found tinkering in his garage. John not only loved to work on anything that had a motor but he was a skilled carpenter who was able to make anything that he put his mind too.

John had a love for model trains that he shared with his sons, Allen and Matthew. One year for Christmas he made them an 8X12 foot train town that he loved to play with as much as his sons. Having worked on planes while in the Army, John's interest and love of airplanes was something that he enjoyed; he often regretted not getting his pilots license. John retired in 2013 after 34 years of being the bus supervisor and mechanic for the Kidder County School District.

John will be deeply missed by his wife Neda, of 36 years. His sons Douglas (Debbye) Irish, Cleveland, TX, Duane (LeAnn) Irish, Jamestown, ND, Allen (Brian) Irish, Harwood, ND, and Matthew (Doni) Irish, Steele, ND; nine grandchildren, and ten great-grandchildren; his sister, LaVern Parham, Tacoma, WA; brothers, Harley, Tacoma, WA., George "Ed", University Place, WA; sister-in-law, Toni Irish, University Place, WA; along with in-laws from the Nelson side and numerous nieces and nephews, special friends and neighbors.

John was met at Heaven's Gate by his parents, Casper and Gertrude Irish; his father and mother-in-law, Barney and Iona (Dickson) Nelson; brothers, James "Jim", Tom, Jennings, and Terry; and sister Virginia.

The family would like to thank the following people for their compassionate care during John's illness: Dr. Gray, Oncologist, and her staff, the Nurses on the 7th floor and in the infusion room at Sanford Health and the Bismarck Cancer Center. The family also wants to say a special thank you to Jessie Stroh and Lisa Goetz, from the Hospice program, for their compassion and dedication to John over the last month.

Go to to share memories John and sign the online guestbook.