COLCHESTER — Elizabeth “Libby” Irwin was born in London, England, on 11 May, 1927, the daughter of Romaine Abernathy and Harold Edward Van der Noot.
She was educated in schools in London, Florida, Rochester, NY, Massachusetts and Pennsylvania, graduating from Smith College in 1947.
With her first husband, Reinold Sirjane, she operated a poultry farm in Pound Ridge, NY, until 1953 when they moved to Cuttingsville, Vermont. While raising 5 children, Libby taught swimming and skiing. She kept horses and was an accomplished equestrian and also raised and showed Irish Setters.
She was a lecturer in Mathematics at Castleton State College. In 1970 she married H. Franklin Irwin, Jr., and they moved to Lyndonville, VT. Retirement took them to Cape North, Nova Scotia, and ultimately to Wilder, VT.
Libby loved the sea and following her husband’s death in 1992, she moved to Maine. In Maine she was an active participant in the Maine Senior College, both teaching and taking courses. She was an avid tennis player and also participated in the Senior Olympics. She loved animals and always had a dog. Libby returned to Vermont in 2009 to be closer to her children.
Settling in Burlington, she was quickly involved in the Vermont Senior Games, OLLI, and pickleball. She was passionate about art and music, and played the piano and recorder. She was also an artist, and encouraged others through an informal arts group in the Burlington area. Her work has appeared in the Northern Vermont Artists’ Association Annual show in Jeffersonville, and is currently in the Gruppe Gallery in Jericho in an exhibition of watercolors by students of Lisa Forster Beach.
Libby is survived by two daughters: Sarah Gallagher of Colchester, VT, and Julie Sirjane of Palm Beach Gardens, FL; three sons: Christopher Sirjane of Charlottesville, NC, David (Podge) Sirjane of Cuttingsville, VT, and Jeffrey Sirjane of Thetford Center, VT; by three granddaughters, Megan Sirjane-Samples, Zoe Sirjane and Cedelle Sirjane; by five grandsons, Bruce Sirjane, Chris Sirjane, Jesse Gallagher, Sean Gallagher, and Emmett Sirjane. Survivors also include three stepchildren: Terry, Hale and Maude Irwin and their families, and her dog “Cyrus.” She was predeceased by her granddaughter, Marley Sirjane.
A memorial service will be held at St. Paul’s Cathedral, 2 Cherry Street, Burlington, VT, on Saturday, June 29, at 10:30 a.m.
In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to the Hospice Program of the Visiting Nurse Association of Chittenden and Grand Isle Counties, 1110 Prim Road, Colchester, VT, 05446 (www.vnacares.org).
Arrangements are in the care of the Cremation Society of Chittenden County, a division of the Ready Family, Burlington. To send online condolences to the family please visit www.cremationsocietycc.com.