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IRENE LORA WIEBE
September 16, 1943 – April 30, 2023
It is with great sadness and much love that we announce the passing of Irene on April 30, 2023.
Irene leaves behind to carry on the legacy of her strength and loving care, her husband of 58 years, George; children, Lisa and son-in-law Doug, and Robert and daughter-in-law Rosalind; grandchildren, Devin (Kathleen), Tori (Ruby), Jaxon, Cole, Madalaina; and great-grandchild Evelyn.
In addition to her immediate family, Irene will be missed by her brother Henry, in-laws, nieces and nephews, and the many friends she made throughout her life.
Irene is predeceased by her father and mother, Gerhard and Maria Neufeld; her stepmother Margaretha Siemens; sisters Helena, Margaret, and Maria; brothers Gerhard, John and James; and grandson Alexander.
Irene enjoyed her early years on the family farm in Manitou spending time with her seven older siblings. She loved school and developed a passion for reading at a very young age. Irene attended the Mennonite Collegiate Institute in Gretna, Manitoba. From there, she moved to Winnipeg to attend nursing school. She met and developed many wonderful friendships while in training. In 1964, Irene received her diploma as a Registered Nurse from the Misericordia General Hospital.
Irene first met her future husband while studying in Gretna. Their courtship started with George making special trips to her family’s farm to spend time with Irene. During this time, George took Irene to see her first movie. When Irene moved to Winnipeg to begin her nurses training, she and George were able to spend more time together. Saturday nights were spent dancing the night away. Shortly after receiving her RN diploma, George asked Irene’s father for her hand in marriage and on May 8, 1965, they were joined in holy matrimony.
A few years following their marriage, they moved to Regina. Irene worked at the Grey Nuns Hospital and for a pediatric allergist at the Medical Clinic. While living in Regina, they welcomed their first child Lisa into the world. In 1968, they moved back to Winnipeg and Irene returned to work at the Misericordia General Hospital until the birth of their second child Robert.
Eventually Irene moved into the private sector, joining the team at Drake Medox Health Services. It was at Medox that Irene met Sharon Smith, who became one of her best friends. Recognized for their exceptional service, Irene and Sharon travelled the world as members of the Drake International 100% Club. It was during their first trip to France that Sharon introduced Irene to the joys of a nice glass of wine.
Irene and George took the kids camping on a regular basis, spending many a weekend at both Falcon and Westhawk. Over time, Irene grew tired of camping and the family transitioned to cottage life at Lake of the Woods. Retreating to the lake during the summer was a special time for Irene. Relaxing with a good book, preparing and sharing a meal, slow cruises in the boat, or sitting up late into the night playing games around the kitchen table brought her great joy. Once grandchildren entered the scene, the lake became even more special. She loved having the grandchildren jump into her bed in the mornings to wake her up and watching their crazy made-up performances!
Grandchildren were Irene’s next great adventure, and her new name – Nana – was a badge of honour. With each new person added to the family, another special birthday meal would come into being. Everyone knew that shortly before their birthday Nana would be calling to ask what they wanted for dinner and which desserts she could make them. A feast would then be prepared and everyone was invited to gather in celebration.
Family meant everything to Mom, and she made sure that we all stayed connected. Mom loved to talk with family on the phone; She was always ready to talk with you to share your day and find out how you were doing. When the opportunity to attend a special event arose, Mom enjoyed being a spectator – sporting events, dance recitals, graduations – whatever the event, she would watch with a huge smile and a great sense of pride.
Irene will be deeply missed. Her family will always remember her beautiful smile, her caring heart, and her warm embrace. She will remain in their hearts, and the love that they have for her will live on in them forever.
If friends so desire, a donation can made in Irene’s memory to the Mennonite Central Committee.
Irene's family kindly requests that all of her friends and relatives take a few minutes to honour her memory by watching the photo-biography above. Please, also consider sharing your own photos, memories, and stories by making use of the comment section on this page.
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