Cover photo for Irvine Alfred Harrell's Obituary
Irvine Alfred Harrell Profile Photo
1931 Irvine 2024

Irvine Alfred Harrell

October 23, 1931 — May 15, 2024

October 23, 1931 - May 15, 2024
“The true meaning of life is to plant trees under whose shade you do not expect to sit.”- Nelson Henderson
Irvine Harrell lived and breathed this credo for 92 years and when he departed from our world on a peaceful May afternoon that was lush with the greenery and birdsong that was such an intrinsic part of him, he left that world a better place for his family, his friends, and his community.
Irv was born in Oshawa, Ontario. Irv’s life involved Scouting, nature, sports - played basketball and semi-pro football as a receiver and was an avid skier. Through Scouting, he met a beautiful young farm girl, Kathleen Tink; they married in 1954. Irv and Kay bought a country lot on Harmony Road. With the help of family and friends, they constructed the house where he and Kay would build a life and family together, and where they would reside for over 60 years.
Irv and Kay had three daughters, Elaine, Kathryn and Jane. Irv taught his daughters the value of hard work, focus, sports, perseverance, and family. Their successes, and their children, were an ongoing source of immense pride and joy for him.
Irv’s career journey carried him through a home heating business with his father, General Motors, and then landing at St. Mary’s Cement as the Purchasing Manager. He also became involved in local politics, winning a series of municipal elections over 15 years. He served on the Oshawa City Council and the Council of the Regional Municipality of Durham. He acted as the Chairman for the Central Lake Ontario Conservation Authority for 15 years given his love of nature and his devotion to environmental conservation. The pinnacle of his career was serving as Chairman of the Board of Directors of the Oshawa Power & Utilities Corporation for 10 years. 
Irv was a Freemason of the Masonic Lodge No. 649 for 70 years, having obtained the highest local level of Master. 
Irv was an avid bird lover, outdoorsman, and waterfowl hunter with his adored Labrador Retrievers. It was Irv’s exposure to duck decoys which began his creative endeavours. He became an accomplished woodcarver, focusing on intricate birds and decoys, then moving on to larger projects including full sized totem poles. 

Given his love of environmental conservation, Irv and Kay purchased a 67-acre farm outside of Tyrone, Ontario, where he spent two decades creating Hawk Ridge Farm, planting over 30,000 trees and creating a natural masterpiece of beauty and peace. 
Irv leaves behind Kay, his beloved wife of 70 years, his children, Elaine Wright of Ottawa, Kathryn Manners (Chuck) of Orillia, and Jane Strong (John) of Waterloo, and his grandchildren Alec, Katie (Gabriel), Andrew, Paige, Tommy, Hillary and Claire. He follows his parents, his sister Barbara Flintoff (Bob), and his lifelong friends from this existence into the next.
The family thanks all of the many dedicated, caring individuals who supported Irv as he neared the end of his amazing journey. In lieu of memorial donations, and to honour the spirit of Irv’s life, plant a tree. And if you can’t plant a tree, feed the birds. Get outside and appreciate the magical beauty of our natural world, and work to protect it for all generations.
The family will hold a private celebration of Irv’s life.    Messages of condolence are welcomed at


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