Captain Edelbert E. “Dusty” Irish, USN (ret.), 93, of Hillsboro, passed away Wednesday, Dec. 21, 2016.

He was born Dec. 21, 1923 in Wheaton, Kan., the son of the late Earl and Esther (Brown) Irish.

Besides his parents, he was preceded in death by his first wife, Shirley Louise (Raut) Irish, whom he married on April 15, 1951 and passed away May 18, 2003; and two brothers, Earl and Eldon Irish.

Dusty was a graduate of Kansas University with a B.S. in aeronautical engineering and received a master’s degree in aeronautical engineering from the University of Minnesota.

He was a retired Navy veteran after 30 years of service, serving in World War II, Korea and Vietnam. He was a Naval aviator and holder of the Distinguished Flying Cross and Air Medal with Four Gold Stars and a number of other medals and service ribbons. Upon retiring from the U.S. Navy May 31, 1975, he and Shirley made their home on their farm in Leesburg, where they lived until moving to their new home in Hillsboro. They were both active members in the United Methodist churches in Leesburg and Marshall.

Dusty was president of the Highland County United Methodist Fellowship from 1983-2003. He also served as lay speaker at many of the Methodist churches in Highland County. Dusty was a dedicated Gideon since June 1980 and an avid Bible student. In recent years, he has attended the Hillsboro Bible Baptist Church.

He is survived by his second wife, JoAnn (Long) Irish, whom he married Feb. 27, 2010; one son, Bert (Sharon) Irish of Elko, Nev.; one daughter, Pam (George) Puchovich of Mechanicsburg, Va.; two stepsons, Mark (Janet) Davis of Tennessee and Shawn (Julie) Davis of Ohio; two stepdaughters, Alana Bryant of Ohio and LeAnna Davis of Ohio; eight grandchildren, George Puchovich, Jr., Mark (Denise) Puchovich, Ben Puchovich, Joshua (Lora) Irish, Jared Irish, Veronica Irish, Caleb (Hannah) Irish and Amanda (Stephen) Page; two great-grandchildren, Ruby and Violet Irish; six stepgrandchildren; four great-grandchildren; and one brother, Bill Irish.

Services will be noon Friday, Dec. 30 at the Hillsboro Bible Baptist Church, 8080 state Route 124, Hillsboro. Dr. Dan Lamb will officiate, with burial in the Resthaven Memory Gardens and military rites by the Highland County Honor Guard.

Friends may call Friday from 10 a.m. until service time at the Hillsboro Bible Baptist Church.

The Thompson Funeral Home in Hillsboro is in charge of funeral arrangements. To sign the online guest book, visit

Memorials may be made to the Gideons, P.O. Box 140800, Nashville, Tenn. 37214.