People

Veterans

Sergeant Charles Irish

27 Grarfield Lane

Charles Irish was wounded by enemy fire in 1953 during the Korean conflict. He was with the 101st Airborne Division (Mike Company, 53rd Infantry, 2nd Battalion). He fought at the 38th parallel at what was known as “Sandbag Castle” and “Christmas Hill.” In July of 1953, word came that the 45th Oklahoma Infantry “Thunderbird Division” was pulling offline and going home. The 45th became surrounded, and thirty-five men in Irish’s company stopped to provide support.

Sergeant Irish sustained a severe head injury from the enemy fire. He spent six months at Walter Reed Army Hospital, and he survived against all odds. Irish earned The Korean Service Medal with one Bronze Service Star, the Combat Infantryman Badge, the United Nations Service Medal, a National Defense Service Medal, and a Good Conduct Medal. Because of a fire at the Army Records Depository in Washington D. C., a fire destroyed many servicemen’s records. Irish was finally awarded a Purple Heart Medal after 37 years.

Charles retired from the Army in February 1954 and returned to Bratenahl to continue his life. In his younger years, Bud and his brother raced Formula One cars at Sports Car Club of America event and midget cars at Sportsman Park in Bedford, Ohio. Because he lost an eye during his military service, his dream of becoming a professional race car driver was lost forever. Charles became known in the family as the “wrench” who kept his brother’s race cars running.

Charles F. “Bud” Irish Jr. was born July 9, 1929, in Cleveland, Ohio, to Charles and Lois Irish. He graduated from Shaw High School in 1947 and earned a B.S. degree in arboriculture from The Ohio State University in 1951. He enlisted in the Army in 1951 and assigned to Camp Breckenridge, Kentucky.

He joined the arborist business his father had started in 1912 and became president in 1961 after his father’s death. Under his leadership, the company helped beautify such areas as Shaker Square, the Cleveland Museum of Art, and many Greater Cleveland estates.

He married Johanne Allen in 1955. They had four children: Tim born in 1956, Margaret (Polder) born in 1959, Charles III born in 1960, and Elizabeth (Woods) born in 1963.

Johanne was born March 6, 1930, in Whitesboro, Oneida County, New York, the daughter of Virgil and Margaret Allen. Shortly after, the Great Depression caused the Allens to lose their home. They moved to Cleveland to live with Johanne’s maternal grandparents, Elmer and Alice Wright. Johanne attended Oliver Hazard Perry Elementary School and Collinwood High School. The family moved to Bedford, where Johanne graduated from Bedford High School.

After high school, Johanne became a sociology major at Lake Erie College. After graduation, she got a job working at the Cleveland Clinic’s eye department.

Charles died of cancer in his Bratenahl home on November 1, 1999. Johanne died on February 15, 2014, and buried alongside Charles in Lake View Cemetery.