04/07/1933 - 12/21/2021
Passed away December 21, 2021 at the age of 88 years.
Irene was born in the Rural Municipality of Hillsburg on April 7, 1933.
She received her elementary education at Timber School in the R.M. of Hillsburg and took her Grade 9 at Sioux Lookout, Ontario while staying at her sister Stella’s residence. She truly believed in a person getting a good education and always reminded her own children of that.
She then returned to Roblin where she worked as a waitress along with her good friend, Margaret Larocque.
On July 17, 1949, Irene married Alex Smigelsky and settled on a farm located 11 miles north of Roblin on Hwy. 83. They raised 5 children: Wesley, Judy, Darcy, Tracy and Perry. She worked very hard on the farm and took great pride in her yard, winning an award for best groomed and adorned yard. She instilled the same qualities in her children. She was very proud of all her children. Irene was a very good cook and no one left her home hungry. Best duck soup ever! Early pictures showed her looking very classy and beautiful in dresses and high heeled shoes when going out for the evening.
In 1985, Irene divorced her husband and left the farm to pursue a new life in Medicine Hat, AB.
She worked as a cook at the Greyhound Bus Depot and then later at Medicine Hat Inn. She was happy being near her children Darcy, Tracy and Perry.
Irene then met Art Copeland, a retired C.P. railroader. They frequently attended the Moose Club; bowled together in a bowling league and travelled to some extent, mostly to the USA.
Their summers were spent at her RV camper at Ricker’s Campground at Lake of the Prairies. She jokingly said that she made a fisherman out of Art. Sadly, Art passed away at the age of 70. Irene’s years with Art were the happiest years of her life. Too bad there weren’t more. After Art’s passing in 1998, she moved to Yorkton, SK. where her sister Mildred lived. She continued to go to her camper at the lake until health issues began to arise.
In 2007, Irene moved to the Maple Manor in Roblin where she resided until 2012. Her health issues required her to be panelled to the Crocus Court Personal Care Home. On December 21, 2021 Irene passed away peacefully with her loved ones at her side.
She was predeceased by her sister Ann; her brothers Freddie, Victor, Nestor, Richard, Walter, Adam, Andrew and Peter Wavryk; and grandchild Andrew Smigelsky.
Irene is survived by her sisters Stella Carlbom of Thunder Bay, ON; Mildred Yaciuk of Yorkton, SK; and Marcella Berube of Thunder Bay, ON.
Irene is also survived and cherished by her 5 children: Wesley (Louise) Smigelsky of Roblin; Judy (Kevin) Evachewski of Carberry; Darcy (Robin) Smigelsky of Blairmore, AB; Tracy Broderick of Kelowna, B.C. and Perry Smigelsky of Medicine Hat, AB.
She has 9 grandchildren, 13 great grandchildren and 1 great, great granddaughter.
Irene enjoyed listening to country music and playing card with her sisters Stella and Mildred. She was a member of the Roblin Greek Orthodox Church and despite her health issues and blindness, she always
maintained that “God has blessed me.”
Irene’s inner strength and commitment to family will always be an inspiration to everyone who knew her.
Funeral Mass was held on December 24, 2021 from the Chapel of NairnChyz-Wolkowski Funeral Service, Roblin, MB., with Father Brent Kuyzak officiating. Interement followed at Roblin District Cemetery, Roblin, MB. Donations in memory of Irene may be made to CNIB (1080 Portage Avenue Winnipeg, MB., R3G 3M3). To leave a note of condolence for the family please visit nairnchyz-wolkowski.ca
1080 Portage Ave,, Winnipeg MB R3G 3M3