An iconic Griffith resident is being remembered for his generosity, kindness and dedication.
Lionel Irving passed away in the early hours of Sunday morning at 80 years of age.
Lionel was known by many for his work as a founding member of A&G Engineering and as a beloved member of the Griffith community.
He is survived by his wife Peggy, his daughters Janene, Nicole, Sindy and Jessica and their families.
Born in 1940 and raised on Hyandra Street, Lionel was a Griffith boy from beginning to end and according to his wife Peggy - he wouldn't have it any other way.
"Lionel absolutely adored Griffith," Peggy said. "He would always walk down the main road and it didn't matter who you were, he would stop and have a chat with you."
"He always wanted to give back to the community and he loved doing exactly that."
Lionel was "silently generous" and never felt the need to show off the work he was doing for groups across Griffith.
Kalinda School, Riding for the Disabled, St Vincent's Private Hospital, the Salvation Army and the countless other groups he helped no doubt remember him fondly.
"He was very down to earth, whether you were rich or poor there was never any discrimination ... he's helped so many people with businesses and just with their lives in general," Peggy said.
But despite his undeniable generosity, Lionel was definitely not afraid of enjoying the finer things in life.
He lived life completely in the fast lanePeggy Irving on her husband Lionel
He was a lover of good wine, good food and travelling.
But above all else - he was a fan of all things fast.
"He lived life completely in the fast lane," Peggy said. "Everything had to be fast. He drove fast cars, he rode fast motorbikes, and he flew fast planes."
"He worked hard and he played hard ... we were always putting on big parties for all sort of things. He would take any excuse to invite friends or family over."
When he wasn't flying through the air or tasting incredible wines with his friends, Lionel would be focused on his other great passion - A&G Engineering.
Together with his dear friend Ron Potter, Lionel dedicated more than 50 years of his life to A&G engineering, turning what began as a three-man operation in Griffith into an internationally recognised brand which employs hundreds of people across the country.
When asked what year Lionel had retired, Peggy burst into a laugh.
He always said 'while I'm still alive I'm the boss' and that's what he was right until the end.Peggy Irving on Lionel's love for running A&G Engineering
"He never really retired," she said with a chuckle. "Even to the very end he was involved and making decisions."
"He always said 'while I'm still alive I'm the boss' and that's what he was right until the end."
As a father Lionel was firm but fair. Despite the success he achieved in life, he was always adamant his four daughters learn the value of hardwork.
His daughters say while they grew up in "a lovely lifestyle", they always had to have jobs and know the value of a dollar.
He may not have been "lovey-dovey", but he showed his affection in other ways and his love was undeniable, his daughters said.
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Speaking to The Area News, Peggy chuckled as she remembered Lionel's "incredible" dry sense of humour and how it persisted until the very end.
"Towards the end, he was in hospital and someone asked him how he was going," Peggy recalled.
"All he did was point at the television, which was showing a chinese coffin, and say 'better than that guy'."
Peggy said she hopes the celebration of Lionel's life later this week can be "their biggest and best party yet".
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