Alfred G. Irish, who will be remembered for his work with the Falmouth Historical Society and as historian for the Falmouth Commodores of the Cape Cod Baseball League, died February 20. The longtime resident of Falmouth was 101.
The Falmouth Board of Selectmen honored Mr. Irish in 2019 for his community service and declared October 13 Alfred G. Irish Day, coinciding with his 100th birthday.
He was honored previously with the 2002 Falmouth Heritage Award, established as part of the historical society’s centennial celebration in 2000.
He served as director and treasurer of the Falmouth Historical Society for nine years. He worked on the antiques fair, did day-to-day chores and much more. He was a program speaker in which residents shared memories of their early lives in Falmouth in the years between 1920 and 1960; Mr. Irish spoke about the 1930s. He also encouraged other people to be involved in the historical society.
Mr. Irish served with the Signal Intelligence Service during World War II, was a Falmouth Town Meeting member and had long served as a member of the St. Barnabas Episcopal Church community, serving in its vestry for 14 years. He was also treasurer and director for The Samaritans on Cape Cod for seven years, director of the Belvidere Plains Association for six years, director of the Oak Grove Cemetery Association for 26 years, and a lifetime member of the Falmouth Commodores board of directors.
Born in New Bedford, he was the son of George B. and Doris (Peirce) Irish.
Like many Falmouth residents, Mr. Irish first came to town on a family summer vacation. Two years later, in 1927, he became a full-time resident at age 7, attending the old Village School at the entrance to Town Hall Square.
Mr. Irish served as secretary of the Class of 1937 at Lawrence High School and graduated from Northeastern University in 1942. He was the manager of the Northeastern baseball team from 1939 to 1941.
Upon graduation he was immediately drafted into the Army and attended the Army’s School of Cryptology in Fort Monmouth, where he excelled in this field. His duties with the Army Signal Intelligence Service took him to Australia, New Guinea and the Philippines during 1944 and 1945.
After the war, Mr. Irish settled in Boston working as a registered securities representative for an investment firm, and eventually a sales representative for New England Mutual Life. In 1953 he earned his MBA in business administration from Northeastern, and later he received Chartered Life Underwriter and Chartered Financial Consultant designations from The American College, Bryn Mawr, Pennsylvania. He was also a member of the Society of Financial Service Professionals. He retired from Commercial Union Life Insurance Company as a Life Marketing Consultant in 1985.
In 1954 he married Esther Louise Clark and the couple lived in South Weymouth. They had two sons, David and Bradford, before returning to Falmouth in 1961 to live in Mr. Irish’s boyhood home, his grandparents’ 1920s house on King Street.
Despite a busy career, Mr. Irish was engaged in many civic and community organizations in Falmouth. He was a member of the Marine Lodge A.F. & A.M., becoming Master Mason in 1970. He also was trustee of its charity fund. In later years, the Grand Lodge of Massachusetts awarded him the Joseph Warren Medal, recognizing his significant contribution to community, church and to Masonry.
He was a long-term member of St. Barnabas Episcopal Church, serving as an usher for more than 50 years, vestry member, senior warden, finance committee member, treasurer, and chairman of the Behrens Fund Committee. He served as a Town Meeting member for 15 years and as treasurer/director of The Samaritans in the 1980s.
In 1990, he became director and treasurer of the Oak Grove Cemetery.
Mr. Irish had said his love of the summer baseball league began at an early age. In 1925, when he was just 5 years old and two years before they moved here, his family rented the Ray Wells house in Falmouth Heights that was owned by the town’s longtime fire chief. The house was near the Falmouth Heights ballpark, and so as a young boy, Mr. Irish used to attend the games.
Mr. Irish’s father died in 1926, and he was raised by his grandfather, who was a big sports fan and brought him often to the baseball games, nurturing his love of the game.
For years he was a fixture at Commodores home games, serving at the entrance gate, greeting fans and collecting donations. He had an encyclopedic knowledge of the league and was regarded as its archivist and historian. In 2007 he was awarded Cape Cod Baseball League’s Lifetime Achievement Award and was a lifetime member of the Commodores Board of Directors.
He also became an advisory member for the Cape Cod Baseball League Hall of Fame Committee..
He leaves his two sons, David Irish and his wife, Leslie Irish, of New York City and Bradford Irish of Wickford, Rhode Island.
He was preceded in death by his wife in 2013 and also by his sister.
A memorial service to celebrate his life will be at a future date to be announced.