Nov. 5, 1931-May 22, 2020
Irene Kirk, of Butte, passed peacefully in her sleep on Friday, May 22, 2020. She is preceded in death by her husband Ray Kirk, son Jeffery, brother Jack Petlin, sister Mary Petlin and parents John and Pearl Petlin. A memorial service will be scheduled at later date.
Her father was a strong influence. She gained her work ethic and love of math from him. Irene inherited her piercing green eyes, reserved nature, and kind heart from her mom. Florence Avenue was her childhood stomping grounds. After graduating from Butte High School in 1950, she married Ray Kirk, her high school sweetheart. They built a beautiful family home next door, and it was her residence till death.
Her first job was at the family business, “Town Talk Bakery.” She remembers classmates commenting that she smelled like doughnuts when she arrived at school. As a top-notch bookkeeper Gamble Robinson, the Safeway corporate office, and General Contractors, valued her precision in managing numbers. After her husband died, she demonstrated strength and preservation as a single parent. She became a successful business woman. Her career path as a Realtor Broker, led her into owning and managing commercial buildings on Harrison Avenue.
No moss grew under Irene’s feet, and her goals kept her active. Irene physically built two homes with her husband, and was a master handy-man/woman. An accomplished seamstress, she tailored formals, school clothes, and home embellishments. Irene served in promoting awareness for the Shriner’s Children’s Hospital, Daughters of the Nile & Eastern Star for 50+yrs, Butte Chamber Ambassador, Red Hats-Gal-Us Frame Girls, High school girls monthly meetings, and Cornish Cousins. In her eighties, the High Tech Grandma continued to enroll in computer and photography/video classes. Lover of the outdoors, she enjoyed camping, fishing, horses, gardening, speed skating and skiing. She was a beautiful dancer, and delighted in attending live entertainment. Her passions included holiday decorating/ family dinners, garage sales, and animals; especially birds & dogs.
She survived a brain hemorrhage at the age of 83. Her strong character, work ethic and positivity kept her going. When others approached her and said that they were sorry for the circumstance, she would reply, “It’s better than the alternative.” Our mom was driven to succeed. Her family admires her accomplishments, her work ethic, and integrity. She was a strong independent woman; definitely Butte Tough.
Irene is survived by three daughters: Raylene Kirk of Butte, Julie Kirk Constenius and husband John of Whitefish, and Heather Kirk Walund and husband Randy of Spring Creek, NV; five grandchildren: Chris Lisac, Lucas Constenius, Logan Constenius, Sheridan Walund and Harrison Walund; three great-grandchildren: Alicia and Kelsey Lisac, and one great-great granddaughter: Sophia Lisac.
Thank you to all who cared for our mother over the past handful of years, and most recently the staff at The Springs Footsteps Memory Care, Deb Penner (personal trainer), and Frontier Hospice. In lieu of flowers her family would appreciate a memorial donation in her memory, to Bagdad Shrine Temple Children’s Transportation Fund, 314 W. Park, Butte, MT 59701.
Express condolences at www.wayrynen-richards.com.
She would light up whenever Bob Kovacich would sing “Good Night Irene”. Now it’s time for her final song, “Good Night Irene our Sweet Mama.”
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