The longtime and beloved letter carrier who traversed the Wadsworth area with dog treats in his truck did so because he had just as many canine friends on his route as residents waiting for the day’s mail.
Dave Irwin said his older brother, Randy Irwin, 59, of Macedonia, would even hop out of his truck to greet his furry friends with a treat if they were not waiting nearby. He knew many residents by name. Their dogs, too.
“I would kid with him that it was really self-preservation, him making friends with the dogs,” Dave Irwin said Thursday. “But really it spoke to who he was as a person. He was just so kindhearted. He treated everyone with so much kindness.”
Randy Irwin, a more than 28-year veteran of the U.S. Postal Service who worked out of the Wadsworth post office, was killed Wednesday afternoon when a minivan hit his mail truck on state Route 94.
He was pulling back into traffic about 4 p.m. when his truck was struck from the rear by a 2016 Dodge Caravan driven by Danielle M. Ullman on Route 94 north of Eastern Road, according to a news release from the Ohio Highway Patrol. The truck overturned and Irwin, who was not wearing a seat belt, was partially ejected.
The postal employee died at the scene and was transported to the Cuyahoga County Medical Examiner’s Office. Ullman, 31, of Doylestown, sustained minor injuries and was transported to Wadsworth Rittman Hospital.
The patrol said Thursday that no charges have been filed and that the crash remains under investigation. Alcohol and drugs are not suspected.
The Medina County Sheriff’s Office and Wadsworth Township Fire and EMS assisted the Ohio Highway Patrol on scene.
Dave Irwin penned an emotional Facebook post Thursday about his brother’s death, saying the family suffered a devastating loss.
“There is a hole in our hearts,” Dave Irwin said.
The sentiment was shared by hundreds as the post had more than 500 comments and was shared 91 times within 12 hours.
“I’m not surprised to read so many good things about my brother,” Dave Irwin said. “He has delivered mail to some of the same people, same clients for more than 20 years. He knew them as friends and so many said to me that he was like family.”
The third of four brothers, Randy Irwin grew up in Norton. After graduating from Norton High School, he attended the University of Akron but did not complete his degree as he elected to enlist in the U.S. Army, his brother said. He served for eight years.
Randy Irwin’s stint with the Postal Service started as a part-time job. He worked it, driving his own truck for many years, and a job at a plastics factory until a permanent position opened up.
“He loved his job and he loved the people he delivered to every day,” Dave Irwin said. “We grew up in Norton and a lot of our Norton classmates and friends ended up moving to Wadsworth so Randy always had friends around. People we knew from growing up ended up being his clients.”
Dave Irwin said his brother’s wife of more than 15 years, Sherrie, is overwhelmed with grief.
“I just feel that he had two loves — family and golf — and he would do them both 100 percent,” Irwin’s brother said. “He took care of our mother when she was ill before she died. Randy was always the one to take care of family. And Sherrie was his soulmate. They were meant for each other. She is devastated right now.”
Dave Irwin said he last spoke to his brother on Christmas Day. They spoke almost daily and he said he will miss his brother’s laughter and great sense of humor.
“He was just ultimately loyal to the family,” he said. “He would do anything for family. It was just the way we were raised. I think we all felt that way, but Randy lived it out. He lived for his family, his immediate family, his extended postal family, his friends. … You had to know him. He had quite the personality. He would do anything for anybody.”
Dave Irwin said if there can be any lesson from his brother’s death it would a reminder for people to slow down.
“In two ways, we all need to slow down,” he said. “Slow down and enjoy life a little bit more. Then, stop and think. When we think we need to be somewhere in a hurry, we need to think about the people working on the side of the road every day. We all think our schedules are such that we whisk around these people without thinking of the determent of what can happen. … But life is more important than getting to the next stop.
“This person took a good man from this society. He was an exemplary person as an employee of the postal service and to our family. He was taken from us senselessly, and we are heartbroken.”