Remembering Brother Ira AKA "Iron Man"
Ira was born to a loving family in Madison County, Alabama. He was known to be brilliant and was born marching to the beat of his drum. He enjoyed basketball and played for Sparkman High School. He went on to join the Navy and later attended college at Tuskegee Tech.
2008 Picture (L) Ira reviewing his picture from Sparkman High School Basketball with former board member Dan Nash. Dan knew his coach and brought him along for the visit.
He became a resident of 8th Street in 2005 at age 46. He lived in a single room in the basement and would come up to talk to his friends. His notebooks were plentiful with writings of rockets, and the smell of cologne would intoxicate the senses. He loved eating at "Denny's" and had a way of talking staff into a stop to get a burger any time he had an appointment.
2020 Pictured is the family of 8th Street. Ira always could be found peering over everyone.
2019 Shopping Spree with I3, Ira went in for the one thing he always purchased-Cologne. Still, he towers above everyone in this family picture with I3 Care Employees.
Ira was one of a kind. On the serious side, he loved God and his mother, Geraldine. He talked about Geraldine often and would not let anyone wash his clothes except his mother. She would come by weekly and drop off his cigarettes, bring him plenty of snacks, and take his laundry home to wash. Whenever we tried to help him, he would say, "No, Geraldine will handle it."
And she did. She handled it and ensured Ira's had everything he needed. Therefore, 8th Street was just on the sidelines assisting with daily routines.
Ira got the world record for longest toenails. It's the one thing Kay Morton, former Wellness Supervisor, convinced him to cut. But, we never could get him to trim his hair.
On sunny days, you would find Ira sitting in a chair facing the full sunshine, wearing his flannel shirt, and smoking a cigarette. Once you met Ira, listened to his stories, and heard his bellowing laugh, you loved him.
Ira's health began to fail in the latter part of 2021. He stayed with his mother, Geraldine. His family helped him get everything he needed to be comfortable. He passed away peacefully on March 7, 2022. Volunteers, residents, and staff talk about Ira to this day.
The way 8th Street grieves is like any other family. And that is why we will celebrate Brother Ira on the 7th of March and deem it "Wear Your Favorite Flannel Day."
Donations received in his memory totaled $675 for everyday care.
A special Thanks to Our Donors
Gary Jones and Betty Allen-Jones
If you have a favorite memory about Ira, feel free to post it.