IRENE "MA" GONZALEZ GARY/EAST CHICAGO, IN
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Irene Gonzalez, age 81, of Gary and formerly of East Chicago, departed this life on Thursday, August 11, 2011. Her life reflects a passion for knowledge, social justice, and family. Irene, or "Ma," as many loved ones called her, received undergraduate and graduate degrees in education from the northwest campus of Indiana University and dedicated many years to elementary education in East Chicago. Of her many accomplishments, she was most proud of her involvement with the Youth Advisory Board, the Concerned Latins Organization, as well as her helping pioneer Bilingual education program in East Chicago. Irene had six brothers, five sisters, and numerous nieces and nephews. She was preceded in death by her husband of 50 years, Julio Gonzalez; and daughter, Julia Gonzalez Martinez. Irene blossomed and cared for a large family, who will continue to cherish her memory; three daughters: Cynthia Guzman, Fatima Perez, and Sharon (Antonio) Gomez; six sons: Julio (Clara) Gonzalez, Jr., Stephen (Aida) Gonzalez, Jesse (Linda) Gonzalez, Michael Gonzalez, William (Anita) Gonzalez, and Gregory Gonzalez; 22 grandchildren; 29 great grandchildren; and one great-great grandchild. Her love for her family shined brightly during Christmas Eve's when she gathered them together to make the most delicious tamales. She will be missed but her presence will be felt always. Visitation will be held Monday, August 15, 2011, from 2:00-5:00 and 6:00-8:00 PM. Funeral services will be held Tuesday, August 16, 2011 at 11:00 AM. All services will take place at Divinity Funeral Home, 3831 Main Street East Chicago, IN.
Published in The Times from Aug. 13 to Aug. 14, 2011