My earliest vivid memories of Irene date from the time both of us were grad students at Vic university in Wellington, NZ. She was finishing a PhD, I was fresh out of my BSc. There were 5 of us on a road-trip to Otago for a conference, during which Irene taught me a very valuable life-lesson, and it had nothing to do with Math - that humour is the only way to sensible way of getting through a bout of food-poisoning. I vaguely knew Irene prior to that, but that is certainly the memory of Irene that is going to stick with me from those early days.
Many years later, immigration brought me to Québec, and Irene and Vladimir to Ottawa. It was so nice to see you both again after all this time, in this new place. Though I must confess to a deep regret that, over these last few years, I have had so few chances to enjoy your company. I certainly hope Irene knew how much esteem I have for you both.
To Vladimir, Xenia and Slava, my family and I would like to offer you our condolences, and we wish you much love and serenity in coming to terms with Irene's passing.