Irons had a 32-year career with The Woodlands Development Company and is credited with relocating numerous corporations to The Woodlands community. As Community Impact Newspaper previously reported, Irons played professional football for the Oakland Raiders and the Cleveland Browns from 1970-80.
According to a statement from Jim Carman, president of the Houston Region of The Howard Hughes Corp., Irons served on the CISD board of trustees for 22 years and had a school named in his honor, Gerald D. Irons Sr. Junior High School on Needham Road in Conroe.
"Gentle in nature, Gerald was a positive role model. Howard Hughes will miss him as a dear friend and his commitment and dedication to The Woodlands," Carman wrote.
CISD Superintendent Curtis Null tweeted in support of Irons and said CISD is honored the school will continue his legacy.
"He was a wonderful man, husband, father and community leader," Null wrote. "This world and our community are better because he was here. Prayers to his beautiful family."
Rita Wiltz, family friend of Irons' and executive director of Children's Books on Wheels, said to know the Irons family was to love the Irons family.
"Mr. Irons was a gentleman and a very nice person," Wiltz said. "My daughter attends Irons Junior High School, so for her to know him ... A lot of times, schools are named after people that are deceased, so you do not get to have that experience. Education was on the top of his list of what children need. He never made it seem like he was so great and so important that he was not approachable. His goodness was real."