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Mark Ireland

June 28, 2020

Funeral Service for Mark Ireland, 62, of Nacogdoches was held on Tuesday, June 30, 2020 at Calvary Pentecostal Church in Nacogdoches with Bro. Jubal Cannon, officiating. Interment followed at Alazan Cemetery.

Mr. Ireland passed away on Sunday, June 28, 2020 in Nacogdoches.

Mark was born on August 15, 1957 in Cedar Rapids, Iowa, the son of Kenneth and Virginia Ireland. He grew up in Iowa and was taught superb values by his parents and grandparents. Mark developed an unwavering love of being on the water from these influential people in his life. He graduated from Wayne Community High School in 1976. He then enrolled in Indian Hills Community College until 1977 when he transferred to University of Iowa and graduated from the College of Pharmacy in May of 1981. Ironically, Mark and a friend made a trip to East Texas. It didn’t take long for him to realize he adored Nacogdoches. He took a chance and walked into Stripling’s Pharmacy and asked if they were hiring. When the owner heard he was looking for a job, they quickly proclaimed “lock the door! We don’t want him to get away!” Mark began his employment with Striplings where he remained until his retirement in 2017. In 1991, some very dear friends set him up on a blind date. They knew Debbie Johnson would be a great match for his quick wit and phenomenal sense of humor. The two were immediately smitten and had so much fun together. He and Debbie were, in fact, made for each other. They spent the better part of the following 6 years, making great memories and having the time of their lives. On March 22, 1997, they became one when they exchanged vows. In 2005, the opportunity presented itself for Debbie and Mark to purchase Stripling’s Pharmacy. They ran it together, until they sold it in 2012. From then on, Mark continued working there until his retirement in 2017.

Having time on their hands, Mark and Debbie added to their list of travels and enjoyed every minute they had with each other. They ventured to Tennessee, spent time in National and State Parks, and made sure they made it to Fredericksburg every 2 years and to the Iowa State Fair in the years between. Mark loved adventure; he loved being outdoors; but his favorite place to be was on the water. He and Debbie found the perfect spot for their weekend trips when they bought the lake house on Lake Murvaul. Mark delighted in this little piece of heaven and lovingly deemed himself the “King of Murvaul”! He loved the look on Debbie’s face when they were enjoying their quiet time there, and even some time when he knew she needed a “break”, he would head out for a fishing trip with his beloved dog, Bella. He was devoted and loving, caring and compassionate, but most of all, he was her rock and she was his supporter. Mark was also very talented in the kitchen. His much-admired baking skills produced fabulous orange pecan cookies, salted caramels and wheat bread during Christmas time. His family and friends looked forward to these special treats every year. During his lifetime, he developed a passion for woodworking and a great talent in photography. He often captured moments that were stunningly beautiful, to the point of being good enough for publishing. Of all his attributes, Mark’s life was defined the most by his love and he made sure those around him knew exactly what they meant to him.

Mark is survived by his best friend and wife, Debbie Johnson Ireland of Nacogdoches; mom, Virginia Buss Ireland of Corydon, Iowa; sisters, Dorene McCart and husband, Neal of Corydon, Iowa and Gail Ireland of Winooski, Vermont; brothers-in-law, Timmy Johnson and wife, Kay of Nacogdoches, Randy Johnson and wife, Debbie of Beaumont and Rodney Johnson and wife, Shirley of Maysville, N.C.; sister-in-law, Kathy Gordon of Nacogdoches; nieces and nephews, Melanie Epperly and husband, Brett of Lisbon, Iowa, Brittany Johnson of Tyler, Matthew McCart and Rob Mixsell of Davenport, Iowa and Zach Johnson of Nacogdoches; and great-nieces, Brynn Epperly and Paige Epperly of Lisbon, Iowa.

He is preceded in death by his father, Kenneth Leon Ireland.

Memorial donation may be made in Mark’s honor to Calvary Pentecostal Church Building Fund at 2800 Old Lufkin Road, Nacogdoches, Texas 75964.

Serving as pallbearers were Timmy Johnson, Josh Cannon, Zach Johnson, Neal McCart, Curtis Rogers, Matthew McCart, E.J. Goodrum and Ronald Rogers.

Honorary pallbearers were Rev. Robert Thorn, John Young, Richard Hull, Rev. Danny Russo and Rev. Ennis Fuller.

The Ireland family is being served by Laird Funeral Home. To convey condolences or to sign an online register, please visit

The family wanted to pay special honor to Charlotte Woods, Dr. Richard Baker and staff, and all other health care professionals that attended to his care.

Also special thanks to Bro. Jubal Cannon, and wife Tracie; also Ray Perry at Mike Perry Dodge.

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