Irene passed away peacefully with family by her side, at Waterford Retirement Residence, Barrie, on Friday, February 25, 2022.
Irene was born and raised in Elmvale. She attended school in Elmvale and then continued her education at Barrie Business College. She lived and worked in Barrie as a secretary for a few years meeting some lifelong friends during this time. She met the love of her life, Ross, when she was 16 and he was 19 at a New Year’s Eve dance in Waverley and thus began their love and passion for dancing. They would attend dances across the region at least three times a week. After marrying and settling in Orr Lake, they danced every Saturday night at the Orr Lake Dance Hall. They began their family and as the girls became old enough, they took the girls to the dances with them. They spent many years enjoying activities such as snowmobiling, bonfires in the summer, playing horseshoes, hosting corn roasts and socialising with the cottagers.
Irene enjoyed learning new skills and took courses in woodworking, upholstery, computers, financial planning, geneology and Tai Chi to mention a few. She taught sewing at night school and assisted Margaret Eccleshall with teaching square dancing at Hillsdale Public School. She was also a 4-H Homemaking Club leader. She enjoyed a wide variety of activities, however, she never did enjoy cooking. Thank goodness she married a man that did enjoy cooking.
Irene was best known as running a tight ship for numerous years as secretary of Hillsdale Public School.
Irene and Ross eventually moved to Elmvale to reside in her childhood home on John Street. She volunteered with Meals on Wheels during her retirement and spent many hours with her sister, Ruby, travelling across the region collecting information regarding family genealogy.
After Ross’s passing, Irene became closer with her sister-in-law Barb having lots of laughs playing cards at home and playing euchre at the legion. She also became one of the many regular customers at the Kozy Kitchen.
Irene eventually moved to Waterford Retirement Residence and was overjoyed to discover that her favourite Elmvale musicians, Al Beardsall, Lloyd Preston, John Potts, and Katie Austin all came to entertain the residents there. Music was incredibly important to Irene.
The eternal dance floor is now ready for Irene.
Irene lived into her 88th year. Dear wife of the late Ross Whetham. Irene will be forever cherished and dearly missed by her children, Penny (the late Taras) Ciurpita, Melanie (Brian Adams) Whetham and Angela (Eric Brown) Whetham and her special niece Tammy (Ivan) Desroches who Irene referred to as her fourth daughter, along with their four children Evan, Emily, Bryn and Zach. Auntie Irene will be lovingly remembered by her many nieces and nephews, and by Brian’s daughters, Lindsy Adams, Becky Adams and Laura (Grant) Cusiter. Great Nanny “Rene” will be fondly remembered by Keenan, Hazel, Gibson and Ruby Cusiter.
Irene was the daughter of the late Lloyd Nicholas Wood and the late Oda Irene (Houden) Wood. She is survived by her brother Nelson (Virginia) Wood and brother-in-law Clair (Jan) Whetham and predeceased by her sister Ruby (Don) Hocken and in-laws Lloyd (Phyllis) Whetham, Arlie (Elma) Whetham, Madeline (Orval) Edwards, and Barb (Alex) Spence
Cremation has taken place.
A private family service will be held on Friday, April 8, 2022 at Lynn-Stone Funeral Home.
The service can be seen on YouTube (search: Lynn Stone Funeral Home) beginning at 10:55 am.
If you wish to make a donation in memory of Irene please consider the Elmvale & District Lions Club.
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