Irene Kemper, born Irene Mary Karpowich, to Joseph and Mary Karpowich, Nov. 16, 1919, passed away on Aug. 7, 2007.
Irene was vibrant, energetic, full of wit and humor and determined to find the very best in her life.
Irene was generous to those she loved and quick to appreciate those who came into her life. She found something unique to appreciate in nearly everyone she met. Irene was quick to engage and accept and eager to help those who were willing to do good things.
Irene was born to humble beginnings as a citizen in Brule, British Columbia, Canada. Irene was intensely fond and proud of her father Joseph, a Polish immigrant who worked in the coal mines before he saved enough for a fruit orchard. Her youth was challenging, filled with hard work and tough conditions, but she excelled in her schooling and went on to Boswell School in Boswell, British Columbia, in Canada.
Irene met the love of her life, Warren Reed Kemper, in Michigan; they were married on July 23, 1960.
The Catholic Church blessed their marriage in a formal ceremony on their anniversary. Irene worked as a Red Cross Nurses Aide in Detroit, Mich., before entering her career as a ticket and tour agent for United Airlines, earning awards for excellent work and longevity. Irene retired early from United so she could enjoy retirement with Warren. Before retirement she was also a devoted and supportive wife, aiding Warren in his career at Ford Motor Company. They enjoyed bowling, golf and traveling.
Irene was stricken by the loss of her beloved husband and friend, Warren, Feb. 21, 1999. The adoption of her second great love, Pookie, gave her comfort and strength to face the world once more. She reached out to friends and adopted a family of her own making and reveled in the acceptance, love and affection she found freely offered.
Irene was our great friend and will be deeply missed by those of us left behind.
A memorial service was held at 11 a.m., Saturday, Aug. 18, 2007, at St. Cecelia Catholic Church, Stanwood, Wash.
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