Cover photo for Albert Irlbeck (Tulia)'s Obituary
Albert Irlbeck (Tulia) Profile Photo

Albert Irlbeck (Tulia)

June 13, 1943 — December 23, 2021

Albert Irlbeck (Tulia)

Tulia, Texas—Albert Irlbeck, 78, passed away on Thursday, December 23, 2021. Funeral services will be at 10 a.m. Monday, December 27, 2021, at the First Presbyterian Church with Rev. Curtis House and Mrs. Lee Moore officiating. Burial will follow in Rose Hill Cemetery. Arrangements are under the care of Kornerstone Funeral Directors of Tulia.

Albert was born in Plainview, Texas on June 13, 1943, the first child of Paul and Edith Irlbeck. He grew up on the family farm northeast of Tulia that would end up being his love and home for a lifetime. While growing up, he learned the value of hard work and a job well done while gathering eggs, milking cows, driving the tractor, and pulling pranks on his younger siblings. Even then, he liked taking things apart and putting them back together just to see how they worked. He started school at Tulia in first grade and graduated from Tulia High School in 1961. He liked his schoolwork, but he liked fast cars, especially Chevrolets, even better, and his pride and joy was his 1964 Chevrolet Super Sport 409. During high school, a pretty little cheerleader from nearby Happy High School caught his eye, and luckily they both ended up attending Texas Tech University. While in college, Albert joined Sigma Nu fraternity and learned that there was way more to life than he knew in Tulia! After four years at Tech, he had secured the two loves of his life: he married Jan Middleton on April 29, 1967 and returned to the family farm to take over the operation from his dad.

He was a dedicated and hard-working farmer. He was a creative inventor and innovator, and could fix anything with a motor. He mostly grew wheat and milo, but also experimented with corn, soybeans, cotton, and even jalapeno peppers.  He modified many pieces of equipment to perform better or help him do a better job.

The only thing he loved as much as he loved his wife and his farm were his children and grandchildren. He especially loved sports, and never missed his kids’ games or track meets, even if he had to get back on the tractor when he got home afterward. For many years, he helped organize and coach in the Little Dribblers program when it started in Tulia. Watching his kids and grandkids in the state cross country and track meets was one of the greatest thrills of his life.

Albert was invested in the community and he loved Tulia. He served on the Texas Wheat Growers board for many years. He was also a long-time member of the Tulia ISD Board of Directors and the Swisher County Farm Service Agency County Committee.

Albert loved social gatherings. He and Jan were well-known to be one of the last couples to leave any party. His barn was a gathering place for friends and neighbors, and you could always count on good stories, good jokes, country or 50’s music, and a cold beverage with snacks. He loved having large family gatherings and was famous for his mouthwatering ribs at birthday parties. He loved to tease and make people laugh. He loved to eat good food, and coconut pie was his favorite dessert.

Albert had many hobbies. In his younger years, he loved hunting and being outdoors. The family had many adventures in their RV, snow-skiing in New Mexico and Colorado and waterskiing and camping at Lake Mackenzie. He loved having a huge garden and sharing its bounty with friends and neighbors. He was also an extreme enthusiast for restoring antique cars. His perfectionism and talent were a perfect combination to restore many beautiful cars to original condition. He loved driving them in parades and weddings and won many awards in car shows around the area. He also used his combination of skills to become involved in building and flying RC model airplanes and later drones with the grandkids. He even tried his hand at jewelry-making, creating some beautiful pieces for friends and family.

He loved the Texas Tech Red Raiders. He and Jan went to many football and basketball games through the years. He was a loyal Raider fan, and was proud when his three kids graduated from Texas Tech, too.

In his later years, he loved to have the grandkids out to the farm. They could always count on Gramps to take them fishing at his pond. He and GranJan enjoyed hosting many hot dog roasts, overnight stays, and letting the kids drive or ride in various ATVs or other farm vehicles. Also, his lifelong dream was fulfilled when his son, Scott, came back to help him run the family farm. As he contemplated retirement (and we knew he would never truly retire), Albert was a mentor, a trusted advisor, and a business partner for Scott. He was always willing to listen and give advice. He truly lived by his strict moral code of good character and expected it of those around him. He was fiercely loyal to his friends and family and he will always be remembered for his conviction to always do your best at everything you do. He enjoyed a vibrant life until the very end and will be greatly missed.

He is preceded in death by his parents.

He is survived by his wife: Jan Irlbeck of Tulia, two daughters: Tori Marnell and husband Todd of Tulia and Tara Buckingham and husband Brett of Wheeler, one son: Scott Irlbeck and wife Erica of Lubbock, one brother: Paul Irlbeck and wife Connie of Tulia, two sisters: Judy Acker and husband Jerry of Nazareth and Bernadette Cook and husband Sam of Panhandle, five grandchildren: Mason Marnell, Myla Marnell, Brock Buckingham, Brooklyn Buckingham and Jett Irlbeck.

In lieu of flowers, memorials may be given to Harrington Cancer and Health Foundation: https://hchfamarillo.org/ or the First Presbyterian Church of Tulia, P.O. Box 297, Tulia, TX 79088.

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Past Services

Funeral Service

Monday, December 27, 2021

Starts at 10:00 am (Central time)

First Presbyterian Church-Tulia

113 North Donley Avenue, Tulia, TX 79088

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