06/29/06 — Memorials set for SJAFB officer

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Memorials set for SJAFB officer

By Kenneth Fine
Published in News on June 29, 2006 1:51 PM

Two days after a fatal one-car wreck on Beston Road, the identity of the driver has been confirmed by Seymour Johnson Air Force Base.

Today, base personnel and family members are mourning the death of Lt. Col. Brenda Irwin, 46, a nurse manager on the Gold Primary Care team at the 4th Fighter Wing's Medical Operations Squadron.

Lt. Col. Irwin died Tuesday when her SUV crossed left of center, troopers with the North Carolina Highway Patrol said.

Patrol Sgt. Will Thurston said at that point, Lt. Col. Irwin overcorrected to the right, and her vehicle turned on its side, skidding off the northbound shoulder into a culvert.

Thurston added that when the vehicle hit the culvert, the driver's window broke and Lt. Col. Irwin was ejected from the vehicle. The SUV then rolled on top of her, killing her instantly, he said. He said it did not appear speed was a factor in the accident.

After completing the accident report, officials from Seymour's Security Forces Squadron requested that they be the ones to notify Lt. Col. Irwin's family. The Highway Patrol officials on scene granted their request on the condition that notification be made as soon as possible and that information regarding the victim's next of kin be relayed to their office for inclusion in the final accident report.

4th Fighter Wing Commander Col. Mike Holmes said Lt. Col. Irwin was a great nurse who improved the quality of life for many on base.

"Lt. Col. Irwin was an excellent nurse who loved her job and made life better for many people in our Seymour Johnson community," he said. "My thoughts and prayers go out to her family and her squadron during this terrible time."

Funeral services will be held at 9:30 a.m. Friday at Union Baptist Church, with the Rev. Gary Anderson and Chaplain Kevin Humphrey officiating. Interment with military honors will follow at Pinelawn Cemetery. An additional memorial service is planned for Friday afternoon at the Seymour Johnson Air Force Base Chapel.

Lt. Col. Irwin was born in Manhattan, Kan. She served with the U.S. Air Force Nurse Corps.

She also was a member of the American Red Cross and attended Union Baptist Church.

She is survived by her husband, Mack Alton "Bill" Irwin; a daughter, Kathryn Renee Irwin; and a son, Patrick John Kameron Irwin.

Other survivors include her father John Wiseman of Amarillo, Texas; brother, Douglas Wiseman of Utah; and three sisters, Kimberly Kissinger of Lubbock, Texas, Pamela Worthington of Santa Ana, Texas, and Linette Malone of Austin, Texas.

She was preceded in death by her mother, Betty Jean Unruh Wiseman, and a brother, Aaron Wiseman.

The family will receive friends at the home, 4985 Barber Road, Seven Springs.

Arrangements are being handled by Rouse Funeral Home.