William Douglas Irby, Sr., 73, went home to be with his Heavenly Father on April 9, 2020 surrounded by family. William was a native of Asheville and a son of the late James "Will" and Mattie Lee Salters Irby. He attended the Asheville city schools and was a member of the Stephens-Lee Class of 1965.
"Shorty" as he was affectionately called, was known for his infectious laugh and his jokes. He never met a stranger. He was known to call the youth he loved "Knucklehead". There wasn't anything Shorty could not repair, build or rig together to make it work. He was a member of New Mt. Olive Baptist Church and was instrumental in the construction of the new sanctuary and classroom building. He also served as a trustee, Sunday school teacher and member of the men's choir. Shorty attended and supported activities of other local churches. He loved spending time with his family and grandchildren who he loved dearly. Shorty was a former employee of Norfolk Southern Railway.
Shorty was preceded in death by brother, James David "Buck" Irby; sisters, Hattie Perry and Ollie Irby.
Left to cherish his memory are his wife, Anita Waters Irby; sons, William D. Irby, Jr (Tara) and James C. Irby; daughter, Roberta S. Irby; sisters, Sarah Joe Beaty, Hanan Shabazz and Sue Mosley; brothers, Edgar Paul "Pete" Irby and Odell Irby; uncle, Theodore "Bill" Salters; six grandchildren; nieces, nephews and cousins; other relatives and friends.
A viewing will be held 2:00-6:00 pm Saturday, April 11, 2020 in the chapel of Ray Funeral & Cremation Service. In compliance with the Buncombe County Local State of Emergency, as a result of COVID-19, only 10 individuals, including staff, will be allowed in the facility at a time. A private burial will be held 2:00 pm Monday, April 13, 2020 at Violet Hill Cemetery.
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