Irene Agnes Shirk, 103, of Mifflinburg, went to join her husband, Bill, on Friday, April 24, 2020. Irene had been a week-long resident of Buffalo Valley Nursing Home at the time of her passing.
Irene was born on June 14, 1916, in Newark, New Jersey, a daughter of John J. and Francis Harper Thompson. She always joked and said they put the flags out every year to celebrate her birthday.
On August 13, 1945, Irene married Joseph William (Bill) Shirk at Treasure Island, California. She met Bill during WWII when her brother, Jack, who served with Bill in the Coast Guard, brought him home for dinner. They were married for 53 years at the time of his passing in 1999, but she continued to celebrate their anniversary each year.
Irene grew up during the Depression Era and had to leave The Star of the Sea Catholic School in Long Branch, New Jersey, in eighth grade to help provide for her family. She obtained employment in a toothpaste factory painting tubes. She was later employed at the Monmouth Memorial Hospital in New Jersey, where she took care of newborns. She also volunteered at the USO in Long Branch during the war. After her marriage, she worked for Montgomery Ward in California, and in her later years, she was employed by JPM in Lewisburg.
Irene was a member of First Evangelical Lutheran Church in Mifflinburg. She was also an avid quilter after her retirement and made many beautiful keepsakes for family members. Some of her quilts were sold at the Mary Koons Shop in Mifflinburg. She loved playing Bingo, and had a “reserved seat” at the New Berlin Recreational Committee’s Bingo Night. She attended every Tuesday evening for many years, not giving it up until the age of 102.
She is survived by two sons and spouses, James W. and Sue Shirk of Sheridan, Montana, and Thomas L. and Judy Shirk of Mifflinburg; three granddaughters and spouses, Wendy and Kevin Warren of New Berlin, Carrie and Chad Cross of Whitehall, Montana, and Jennifer and Benjamin Harris of Hickory, North Carolina; six great-grandchildren, Michael and Brady Warren, Gabriel and Joy Harris, and Braelynn DeMers and Elaina Cross; one sister-in-law, Helen Thompson of Myrtle Beach, South Carolina; and numerous nieces and nephews.
In addition to her husband, Irene was preceded in death by a granddaughter, Deanna R. Shirk; a sister, Violet Peters and her husband, Carl; and two brothers, John (Jack) Thompson and his wife, Shirley, and William Thompson.
A memorial service will be announced at a later date. The burial will be held in the Hill Top Cemetery, Mifflinburg.
Funeral arrangements are by Roupp Funeral Home, Inc., 8594 Old Turnpike Rd., Mifflinburg.
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