IRENE I. ZENGEL 4/13/1915 - 3/22/2014 Long-time Apple Valley resident Irene I. Zengel passed away March 22 in Wenatchee, Washington, after a brief illness. Irene and her husband Fritz (John F.P. Zengel) moved to Apple Valley more than 40 years ago when Fritz retired from the Air Force and accepted a teaching position at Victor Valley College. Irene was born in London, England on April 13, 1915. She attended Chelsea Polytechnic College and London University, obtaining her certification as a chemist and druggist. While at London University she won the coveted chemistry prize, the youngest graduate and first woman to do so. Irene worked as a chemist in London all through the blitz in World War II. In 1944 she met and married her husband, a member of the American military stationed there. As the wife of a member of the Air Force, Irene frequently moved, but was always active in her community, taking a leadership role in a number of volunteer organizations. While they were stationed in Virginia, Irene worked for the American National Red Cross for many years, serving in a number of different capacities, among others as Red Cross Volunteer Field Consultant, when she traveled to West Virginia and Kentucky to assist flood victims there. After she moved to Apple Valley, Irene started attending classes at Victor Valley College and eventually went on to receive an AA degree "just for fun" as she put it. She was employed part-time as a branch library assistant at Apple Valley and Victorville libraries, as well as the George A.F. Base library. Working with children was one of her favorite things to do, and Irene spent many hours doing Storytime and other activities for children both at the library and also at local schools. She was a volunteer for St. Mary's Regional Medical Center Auxiliary, serving as president, program chairman and parliamentarian over the years; she was also an officer and member of the California Federation of Women's Clubs, and P.E.O. Irene loved to travel and she and her husband took many trips to Germany, the British Isles and to cities in the United States. She also loved gardening, especially roses. Irene was a member of St. Timothy's Episcopal Church in Apple Valley. Irene is survived by two daughters, Joy Ames and son-in-law Jim Ames, Barbara Boers and son-in-law Dr. Daniel Boers, three grandchildren and two great grandchildren. She will be remembered by her family as a loving mother and by her friends as a dear friend.
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Published in the Daily Press on Apr. 13, 2014