Welcome to the memorial page for

Irwin (Irish) Degnan

February 12, 1919 ~ August 20, 2015 (age 96) 96 Years Old


Irwin (Irish) J. Degnan, age 96, was born on February 12, 1919, in Guttenberg to John and Anna (Nigg) Degnan, the third in a family of seven children. He passed away with his two loving daughters by his side on Thursday, August 20, 2015, at the Guttenberg Care Center.


Irish graduated from St. Mary’s High School in 1936. He attended Columbia (Loras) College and graduated from Upper Iowa and later entered law school at Drake University. He is a decorated war veteran, including the Silver Star, who served his country proudly in the United States Army in both Europe and the Pacific during WWII to include the 28th Infantry and other campaigns and the Army Headquarters V Corps, the unit specifically created for the top-secret invasion of Normandy, France of which he was the Security Control Officer and carried classified documents specific to the D-day invasion, where he landed on Omaha Beach. He entered the Army in 1941 and received honorable discharge on November 15, 1945. Later he was recalled for the Korean Conflict in 1950 - 1952 as a Commanding Officer. On September 2, 1950, Irish was united in marriage in Des Moines with Shirley Schabacker and they were married for 55 years. Irish sold life insurance for Northwestern Mutual achieving the million dollar round table, established Degnan Insurance & Realty in1953 and owned and operated his agency for 34 years. In addition, he enjoyed being a dealer and independent contractor for Hilton and Trademark Homes.


Irish was among the citizens who were instrumental in forming the Guttenberg Municipal Hospital, the Guttenberg Care Center, the Industrial Park, Guttenberg Golf & Country Club. He was a member of Guttenberg Rotary Club, American Legion, VFW, KCs, and was involved in numerous other civic/commerce groups and projects. He was an active member of St. Mary's Church serving as a Eucharistic minister, lector and choir member for over the years. Irish enjoyed working on and collecting old cars, boating, following politics and current events, coin collecting, working in his yard, spending time aboard his house boat, The Irish Mist, with his family and taking summer family vacations. He loved to sing and had a great love of all music that continued throughout his entire life. He enjoyed spending time with friends and family and meeting new people. Later he enjoyed painting, car rides and working on jigsaw puzzles.


Irish is survived by his two daughters, Peggy Degnan of Guttenberg and Jann (Mark) Degnan Duffin of Brooklyn, New York; three siblings, Mercedes Schappler, of Nashua, N.H., Dr. Donald Degnan, of Dubuque and Marion Jacobs, of Cedar Rapids, many nieces and nephews and friends. Irish was preceded in death by his parents, wife Shirley, brothers, Judge L. Jack Degnan and Dr. Edward Degnan; one sister Annette Ellsworth.


Memorials may be directed to St. Mary's, Guttenberg Hospital, Guttenberg Veteran's Monument. The family would like to thank the staff at the Guttenberg Hospital /ER and ambulance staff, Guttenberg Care Center, Hospice of St. Croix., Father Marvin Bries and Deacon Pfaffly.Click here to view a Video Tribute for Irish Degnan


Visitation: Sunday August 23, 2015 from 3:00 - 6:30 P.M. at the Tuecke-Allyn Funeral Home in Guttenberg, Iowa


Funeral: Monday August 24, 2015 at 10:30 A.M. at St. Mary's Catholic Church in Guttenberg, Iowa


Interment: Mt. Olivet Catholic Cemetery Guttenberg, Iowa

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