February 27, 1939 – November 10, 2020
With great sadness we announce the passing of our loving husband, father, brother, grandpa and friend. He passed peacefully with family in the Comox Valley Hospital.
He is survived by his wife of 60 years Georgina (Gina Ferguson), daughter Christine and granddaughter Erin Lane, sons Lesley and Michael (Donna) and grandchildren Kyle and Lauren. His sister Eileen (Dolly) Greene (Michael) and numerous nieces and nephews.
Irwin was born and grew up in Prince Rupert BC and his passion for commercial fishing started at age 4 with his father (Herman Christian Rensvold d.1966; Dagny Louise d.1991) and continued to age 71 when he reluctantly retired.
Irwin’s sense of independence and determination started at a very young age. He refused to eat his porridge, and after sitting at the table staring at it for a period of time he had had enough. He packed his little black suitcase with his favourite comic books and set out to leave home. He lasted till suppertime and at the mercy of his mom the porridge had disappeared.
As a young man and basketball star he was a trendsetter in fashion, cars and the latest crazes. The ladies lined up! As testament to his demeanour, he was liked and respected by everyone.
Every evening the family sat around the kitchen table playing cards and discussing the day’s events. It was during this time that he learned about the family business and what were and were not astute business transactions. His dad was a legend in his time and passed this wisdom to his son.
Irwin was the Candy Man and all kids loved him! Whether he was making Cream Soda floats, dishing out Ice Cream or creating Huge Magic bubbles he always had time for them.
He was the King of pickled herring. Together with a number of his friends they worked for weeks on creating the best pickled herring in the world. The last taste test had to be done by Irwin to deem perfection.
Commercial fishing was in his blood. He started with his father at a young age and spent many years in Alaska including the Bering Sea fishing for halibut. Later years he skipped a number of boats. On Good Friday, 1964 he was fishing in the Bering Sea when the largest earthquake ever recorded struck off the Coast of Alaska. They returned to Kodiak Alaska for fuel and the whole town had disappeared.
Comox Valley was Irwin’s paradise. Trying to leave the rains of Rupert behind he searched the province until he drove up the Dyke Hill Road and looking over the view of Comox and its harbour knew he was home. The family moved to Comox in 1968. It was here that he engaged in numerous business adventures. He owned the Comox Marina, pursued land and building development and after a brief retirement he returned to his passion of commercial fishing.
He was known by all his friends and family as kind, generous, outgoing and helpful. A perfect host and a gentleman in every respect. Everyone he encountered was treated with respect and dignity no matter what station in life they held.
The family would like to thank all of the Nursing Staff at the Comox Valley Hospital who took such great care of Irwin in his final days
A celebration to honor Irwin’s life will be hosted on a future date and in lieu of flowers please make donations to the Alzheimer Society of British Columbia.
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