Irene E. Burgoon (October 20, 1918 — March 29, 2017)
Irene E. Burgoon, mother, grandmother, great-grandmother and friend, passed away on March 29, 2017, at the age of 98. Born to James and Agnes Smolek in Churubusco, IN, Irene was the fourth of five children and the only girl. Though small in stature, Irene was strong in body, mind and heart. Her early years working alongside her brothers on the family farm instilled values that carried her throughout her life.
Irene made her home in Sacramento, CA, for more than 60 years. Following her retirement from the State of California, Irene put her business acumen and exceptional talent as a seamstress together in a dress shop which she operated successfully for 20 years. Irene served the community of Sacramento in a variety of ways throughout the years, as a member of the Moose Lodge, Elks Lodge and Senior Gleaners.
Irene met and married the love of her life, Gale P. Burgoon, in 1967. Together they tackled life with gusto, raising 4 children and developing a vibrant circle of friends. Following retirement, they traveled extensively, enjoying trips to Asia, Canada and Europe together. Their affection for each other and love of life was evident to everyone who knew them.
Following Gale’s death in 2004, Irene relocated to Rifle where she quickly became a beloved member of the community. She served on the Senior Advisory Board and volunteered extensively at the Rifle Senior Center. She regularly enjoyed pinochle, dinner, concerts and theater throughout the valley up until the time of her passing. Friends and family will remember Irene’s beautiful gardens, delicious meals, quick wit and easy laughter.
She is survived by son Joe Carpenter of Rifle, stepchildren Johnathan Burgoon, Patricia Burke and James Burgoon, 11 grandchildren and several great-grandchildren. Irene is preceded in death by her brothers George, Richard, Arthur and Gene Smolek.
Memorial services will be Saturday, April 15th, at 1:00 pm at the Rifle Senior Center. Arrangements by the Rifle Funeral Home with inurnment at the Rose Hill Cemetery. In lieu of flowers, donations can be made to the Rifle Senior Center.
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