1924 — 2014
Irene was born in Virden, Man., on June 4, 1924, to George and Bertha Cook. She was the oldest of six children. Irene grew up in Virden and graduated from Virden Collegiate. From there, she went to Dominion Business College in Winnipeg.
Her first job was at Breen Motors, and from there she went to Canada Trust Company. She worked there for about 10 years, and then in 1956, she married Oli Erickson. They travelled around Manitoba and Saskatchewan for Oli’s work and settled around the Oxbow, Sask., area, where the twins (Lori and Lynne) were born, followed by Pat two years later.
They moved to Saskatoon a few years later and Melanie was born there. Next move was to Swift Current, and then in 1967, they moved to Coronation, Alta., and that’s where they stayed.
She worked as a cook at the Coronation hospital for 17 years before retiring. In Coronation, Irene got involved with the community. She was a charter member of the Oil Wives Club and was a member for 40 years. She also belonged to the Lioness Club and later the Lions Club. Irene was an active member at the Golden Age Drop-In Centre and enjoyed many activities there, such as card-playing and disking. Irene was also active in her church and had a loving relationship with God.
Irene was an active and creative person with diverse interests. She loved to travel and to take pictures; she often would have two or three cameras on her. Some of her pictures were submitted to magazines and the Coronation calendar and she won awards for a number of them.
Irene could play the piano by ear and loved music. She played the piano for many functions and loved to do that. She also had a flair for sewing. She made her own wedding dress and sewed many dresses for her daughters and costumes for school and skating activities. Later in life, she learned to quilt and made very beautiful quilts.
She sewed a wide variety of items and often had a table at craft fairs to sell her beautifully made creations.
Irene was always busy and trying new things, such as at age 65 she decided to try a water slide for the first time, or at age 80 she decided to get her ears pierced and to ride a quad! She sold Artex paints, Tupperware and Avon at different times. She would go berry picking and spent many days canning, making jams and jellies and such.
She loved to shop! Irene had dresses and shoes for every occasion.
She didn’t stay home much, but when she was home, she loved to watch skating or curling on TV.
Irene was very family orientated and loved to get together with her family whenever possible. She loved the holidays and being with everyone. Her grandchildren and her great granddaughter were a joy for her. She loved being with friends and having fun.
Irene always had a positive outlook; she was strong and talented and had kind words for everyone.
Irene was predeceased by her parents (George and Bertha), her husband Olafur Erickson in 2011, her brother Walter Cook in 2013 and son-in-law James Allan (2010), and by sister/brother-in-laws, nephews and nieces.
She is lovingly remembered by her four daughters, Lori Allan, Lynne Erickson, Pat Lambert (Eric Redcalf) and Melanie Shuya (Dale), her grandchildren Christopher (Karen), Jeremy, Robert, Kyle, Tim and Jake, and great-granddaughter Paige, and three sisters, Luella Jones (Cliff), Carol Chrisp, Ardeth Galitzine (Rick) and one brother, Allan Cook (Clara), and by her very good friend Peggy Dummett (Frank) and numerous friends and relatives.
A funeral service was held at the Evangelical Free Church in Coronation on Wednesday, Aug. 27, at 2 p.m., with Pastor Abe Dubland officiating.
As an expression of sympathy and in loving memory of Irene, memorial contributions may be made to the Canadian Cancer Society or to Assisted Living — Coronation in care of Coronation Funeral Home, P.O. Box 358, Coronation, Alta., TOC 1CO, which has been entrusted with the care and funeral arrangements (403-578-2928). Condolences can be forwarded to the family by visiting the website at coronationfuneralhome.ca.