Irene was born on January 29, 1920 in Atherton, Lancashire, England. She came to Canada with her parents Gladys and Joe Shaw as an infant, and arrived here in 1925. She had great memories of the years at Top Mine; such sunny incidents as being awakened one morning by the squeaks of an animal in trouble right with them in the tent. After searching for some time they found the squirrel trapped in one of the coils of the bed spring.
Irene and Doug were married in 1940 in the United Church manse. St Andrew’s did not have their own minister at the time but were supplied by the Cranbrook church. They had two boys, Danny and Darryl. Both were baptized in St. Andrew’s. In 1976 Darryl died suddenly and in 1983 Doug died after a lengthy illness. She is survived by her son Danny who lives in Kimberley and is involved with Mark Creek Market; 3 grandchildren, 7 great grandchildren and 2 great great grandchildren.
Church work was always a central place in Irene’s life; as a teen, a young mother and in later years. She had been involved in many ways as a; teacher, superintendent of the Sunday School, Women’s groups, Church treasurer, Camp Wasa leader and director and Vacation Bible School. She would tell of how she was so busy doing things she thought she should for God that she left God out of her life. She made herself the focal point. She taught Sunday School curriculum and never knew God was a personal God. She began to feel there must be something else. God was saying to her, “you haven’t found what you are seeking by works” but she was too busy to hear Him. But things began to happen in her life. She experienced a kind of “burnout” and so she withdrew from some of her activities. Then her son died unexpectedly and she rebelled against God. But it was through this testing that she found God. She hurt so badly – she reached out to God and He was there! He had always been there. It was at this point she accepted Jesus as her personal Saviour. When her husband died, her faith in Jesus who was with her all the time, kept her from another rebellion and carried her through another testing time. She learned that it is not what you do for God that is important but your personal relationship with Him. To God be the Glory.
A memorial service for Irene will be held on Sunday, May 10, 2015 at 1:00 pm at St. Andrew’s Presbyterian Church in Kimberley.