Irwin Laurence Figgs, 91, died Friday, Nov. 3, 2017, in Sabetha. Irwin was born on the family farm near Effingham, on Dec. 17, 1925. He was the fifth of eight children born to Irwin and Jennie (Arthur) Figgs.
He graduated from high school in Effingham in 1944 and immediately left to serve his country in the Army in the 17th and 82nd Airborne Divisions as a Ranger Scout Staff Sergeant during World War II. While in the Army, he was in combat, participating in the Rhineland Invasion. He made nine jumps.
After returning from the war, Irwin began teaching in a one-room schoolhouse near Valley Falls. He earned a life certificate for teaching in 1947. He took a total of 227 college hours, earning a bachelor’s degree from Washburn University in social science and foreign language, a master’s degree from the University of Kansas and Emporia State Teachers College program in school administration, and a specialist in education degree in guidance and counseling from Emporia. He enjoyed classroom teaching, and during his career taught government, American history, biology, art, French and German. He was a teacher and administrator for 41 years. He retired after serving 21 years as a principal at Sabetha High School. He then went on to serve as an elected school board member for 12 years in Sabetha.
Irwin is predeceased by his parents; and by his brothers, Orville, Tyrus, Jerry and Tom; and his sister, Mary.
He is survived by his loving wife of 61 years, Leona Faye (McConnaughhay) Figgs. They were married in Larned on Dec. 27, 1955.
Irwin is lovingly remembered by his three sons — Robin Rexford (Paula) Figgs of Topeka, Philip Jay Figgs of Sabetha, and Joel Sidney (Paula) Figgs of Salina; five grandchildren — Alicia Rae (Jesse) Julian of Topeka, Hannah Janea Figgs (Jack) Hoard of Lawrence, Miranda Faye Figgs of Topeka, Jackson Laurence Figgs and Callahan Faye Figgs of Salina; three great-grandchildren — Adelle Marie, Mae Jubilee and Laura Lottie Julian, all of Topeka; sister, Aneita Figgs of Topeka; brother, Larry Figgs of Beloit, Ohio; and numerous nieces and nephews.
A visitation will be held from 6 to 8 p.m. Thursday, Nov. 9, at Popkess Mortuary, 823 Virginia Street in Sabetha. Funeral services will be held at 10 a.m. Friday, Nov. 10, at the First United Methodist Church, 806 Main Street, with Reverend Daniel Kipp officiating. Interment will follow at the Sabetha Cemetery. In lieu of flowers, memorial donations may be made to Sabetha Community Hospital, sent in care of Popkess Mortuary, 823 Virginia Sabetha, KS 66534.
The Sabetha Herald 11/8/2017