IRENE MARY AGNES ONDRUS
February 22, 1929-May 8, 2023
Ahoj (See you!) from Irene Mary Ondrus, 94, of Coleman, Alberta who passed away in peace on May 8, 2023 at the Crowsnest Continuing Care Center. Born and raised in Blairmore, she was John and Mary Perozak’s first child, arriving soon after their arrival from Slovakia.
Before marrying at 19 years of age, Irene worked both as a nurse’s aide and in a dry-cleaning business. She later worked for many years at Thompson’s Clothing and Dry Goods store. Irene was a very busy mother and wife for many years sewing clothing for the family and augmenting the family income with her tailoring talents. She found time for a much-loved flower and vegetable garden and crocheted many items including her favorite baby outfits, afghans and slippers. She was hostess to many bridal showers, a Cub leader with her lifelong friend Helen Wasnock (Dorusak) and actively participated in the Holy Spirit Catholic Church as a choir member and parishioner. John and Irene enjoyed camping (Dutch Creek, Kananaskis was their favorite spot), dancing, paying visits and having many mirthful picnic moments at Knowles Flats. One of Irene’s favorite activities was picking wild mushrooms delighting in giving us their Slovak names. In her later years, mom was able to travel to Greece, the far east and west of Canada, plus parts of the United States including Vegas and serval sites in California. She also visited Maui three times and found awe and wonder in the Hawaiian Islands; she particularly enjoyed the blowing of the conch shells at sunset. To the end, our mother was valued for her relentless concern for others and her gracious nature.
Irene was predeceased by her parents; her brothers, Frank, Joe, John, Steve; her husband (John Peter Ondrus); daughter, Judith Ann; and tragically, her oldest son, Mark Andrew. Left to mourn her passing is her brother, Ron Perozak; her sister-in-law, Vilma Perozak; her children: Monica (Orlie), Micheal (Susan), Marianne (Randall), Mae (Merv); and her grandchildren, Mark (Karen), Melonie, Nick (Amanda), Nathan (Sheri), Thomas (Lydia) and Kevin (Melissa). Irene loved children -she longed for and was fortunate to enjoy the birth, growth and love from her great-grandchildren, Christa, Mariya, Joel, Charlotte, Evan, Lincoln, Presleigh, Tarek and Clara. Irene will have many relatives in Slovakia who would also remember her and her family. While she lost many friends and family members before passing, she will be fondly remembered by those remaining.
At her request, there will be no funeral service. In lieu of flowers, memorial donations may be given to Foothills Hospital Foundation.
The family wishes to extend thanks to all staff at both York Creek Lodge and Crowsnest Continuing Care for their care. We thank physician J. Maritz and J. Bell of the Crowsnest Pass and S. Aggarwal from Calgary for their caring, clarity, support and expert help over last two and a half decades.
As I rest, my mind travels through my children’s lives - the good times and the laughter. Onward I go along the trails, beside the rivers, through the forest, upward into the basins and into the sky itself.
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