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Irene was born in Vancouver on February 7, 1926 and passed peacefully from this life on June 27, 2021. She is survived by daughters Kerry Drescher (Peter), Debbie Punshon, Vikki Tellier (Gerry), stepchildren Dave Holmes (Louise), Brian Holmes (Tanya), Shannon Prosser (Tim), numerous grandchildren, great-grandchildren, and many nieces/nephews.
Irene was married twice in her 95 years of life and managed to outlive both her husbands. She married Randall Chapman in 1947. Randy and Rene settled in Lantzville in 1952. They enjoyed 41 years of marriage until Randy’s sudden passing in 1988. Irene re-married in 1992 to Clare Holmes. After 27 wonderful years Clare pre-deceased her in 2019. The Lantzville home was always a special place for Mum. There she gardened, swam in the ocean and welcomed a myriad of family and friends to share the idyllic setting with her.
Irene was a teacher. She educated a generation of Nanaimo students. She taught at NDSS, Barsby, several elementary schools and closed her career at Seaview Elementary in Lantzville. Each spring in retirement would find Irene on the road with her husband in their camper van on an annual trek to visit family and friends throughout western Canada and the USA.
Irene was very involved in her church, Trinity United, where she sang in the choir and taught Sunday School along with many other things. The church was her second family.
Irene suffered a stroke in November 2018 from which she never fully recovered. She spent the last 2½ years as a resident of Dover House Residential Care Home. We thank the staff for their loving care of our Mum these past few years.
Irene supported many charities during her life but providing education opportunities for disadvantaged girls was very important to her. Donations in Irene’s memory may be made to the Canadian Harambee Education Society or to Indspire.
A funeral service will be held for Irene at Trinity Church, 6234 Spartan Road, Nanaimo on Tuesday July 20, 2021 at 11:00am.
An angel lived among us, a gift from God above
She’s soaring now in heaven, but left us with her love