Irene Rose Wolff, 92, left her numerous family members and friends to mourn Monday, February 10, 2014, at Eastern Idaho Regional Medical Center.
She was born October 1, 1921, in Idaho Falls, Idaho, to Karl Wolff and Rose Katherine Keller Wolff.
Irene graduated from Holy Rosary Catholic School and Idaho Falls High School and later attended Marylhurst University near Portland, Oregon.
In 1946, she became a flight attendant for Western Airlines and was very proud of the different manner of dress that stewardesses of all airlines wore during that era. At that time, they were obliged to follow a strict code regarding their height, weight, uniforms, length of hair, girdles, hosiery, high heels and Coach shoulder hand bags. Upon marriage, they were terminated.
A few years later, Irene was promoted to Chief Stewardess and Regional Supervisor and moved to Salt Lake City, where she then oversaw the flight attendants who were flying to cities in Montana, Denver, Minneapolis and Alberta, Canada.
In later days, she worked at the Western Airlines Reservation Desk at the Roger's Hotel, as well as at the Idaho Falls Airport. She said that upon retiring from the airline, a thrilling moment came when she was honored by being called to the tarmac to watch the departing flight dip its wings in salute to her and her many years of service.
Having no children of her own, she enjoyed the successes of generations of her nieces and nephews, always showering them with her encouragement and pride and then sharing their accomplishment with everyone.
Her interest in art and music was known. She loved to paint in oils and was an avid reader of the classics as well as what she deemed "good books." Coming of age in the forties, she loved to listen, dance and sing with the songs of that era but always leaned to classical music.
Always an animal lover, especially dogs and cats, she filled her retirement volunteering with the local Humane Society and, at the same time, volunteering at St. Mark's Soup Kitchen. She found extraordinary time volunteering at Holy Rosary Catholic Church and became one of the first Eucharistic Ministers after the Second Vatican Ecumenical Council.
Not one to be kept at home, Irene traveled extensively abroad throughout Europe and Asia. Upon her first visit, she went to Strasbourg in Alsace, France. There, in a small village, she was able to locate a long lost aunt, who was a sister of her father. Shortly thereafter, she returned with her parents, uniting the two siblings after 50 years and two World Wars. Irene subsequently made several visits to Alsace, with the most recent in 2000.
This remarkable woman overcame many obstacles in life, most notably a brain aneurism, which left her sightless in one eye.
Irene was preceded in death by her parents; sisters, Mildred (Roger) Hanson and Pauline (Charles) Glidden; and one brother, Karl George (Rosemarie Brinkmann) Wolff.
She is survived by two sisters, Harriet (Lyle) Scott and Marianne "Billie" (Bruce) Kenney; and a host of nieces, nephews and god children. She also leaves to mourn a dear friend and fellow stewardess, Sister Angela Marie Hinkley OFM, as well as her dear friend and aide, Kerry Gauss Ponce, with whom Irene's sisters are eternally grateful.
A rosary for Irene will be held at 6 p.m. Tuesday, February 18, 2014, at Holy Rosary at 9th and Lee. The Celebration of Life Mass will be held at 10 a.m. Wednesday, February 19, also at Holy Rosary.
In lieu of flowers, Irene's wish was that donations be made in her name to Best Friends Animal Society, 5001 Angel Canton Road, P.O. Box 315, Kanab, UT 84741-0315.
Condolences may be sent to the family online at www.woodfuneralhome.com.