Clyde B. “Rusty” Irby went with God on July 14, 2020 at the age of 62. A devoted husband and father, his memory is cherished by his wife, Connie, and his daughters Brittany (Chris) and Hanna, and his son Roman, his family in Florida, Minnesota, and South Carolina, and his friends around the nation. Rusty is survived by his brothers Will (Carol), Buddy (Linda) and his sister Anne Mitchell, and his nephews Jess Irby, Patrick Irby, William Irby, and niece Mary Beth Powell. He was preceded in death by his proud parents William W. and Mary Elizabeth Irby.
Formerly a nationally ranked, top-10 Powerlifting USA champion, Rusty would regale that far above the multitude of trophies that grace the shelves of his home, his greater successes in life were his family and the success of his students and athletes. Rusty prized his family and the friendships and adventures shared together.
Rusty was born at Alachua General Hospital and enjoyed a fortunate youth in his hometown of Alachua. Rusty excelled in sports at an early age and distinguished himself as an athlete at Santa Fe High School. He was a graduate of the University of Florida and earned his Master’s Degree from Nova University.
Rusty was an avid outdoorsman and travel enthusiast. Early in his adult life he explored Alaska and the American West extensively and was usually accompanied by his ever faithful dog, “Lefty.” Together they hiked the wilderness trails of the Rockies and fished the wild streams of the Great Northwest.
Rusty’s teaching, coaching and school administration career spanned nearly thirty years, serving Alachua, Marion, Hernando and Sumter Counties. Many of his stellar athletes recollect fondly the “rock solid” character of Rusty’s “firm but fair” approach to education and athletic training. His high school weightlifting teams were regularly recognized for their winning spirit and accomplishments. Rusty Irby was a coach among coaches and a team builder, motivating the least talented as much as those more athletically gifted to achieve their personal best.
Later in life Rusty enjoyed the serenity of the Irby family’s mountain place above Penrose, NC. His greater delight was on the Gulf, off Shired Island, where he first learned from his father to fish and appreciate all of God’s creation and to always leave things better than you found them.
Due to restrictions and cautions concerning the current pandemic, a private memorial is to be held. In this light, the family has appreciated yet more all the kind words of condolence and remembrance received.
Arrangements are under the care of MILAM FUNERAL AND CREMATION SERVICES 311 South Main Street Gainesville, FL. (352) 376-5361 www.milamfh.com