Irene Frances Chmielewski passed peacefully, to her heavenly reward on Tuesday, June 24, 2014. Irene was born January 31, 1920 in Dickson City, PA, the daughter of Chester and Helen Zalewski. She graduated from Dickson City High School and worked for the Federal Bureau of Investigation as a switch board operator during World War II. Her grandchildren always believed that she was really a special agent for the FBI, 00-Irene. She met and married the love of her life, Bernard J. Chmielewski and after settling in Vestal, raised their five daughters- as she said her most precious gifts. She was a member of Our Lady of Sorrows Church for over sixty years. Irene worked for Ideal Hospital and later the Vestal Central School District. The most important thing to Irene was her family and she showed her love in so many ways, especially during the holidays making dozens of Christmas cookies with the help of her special taste tester, Bernie. She enjoyed taking ceramic classes for many years and her family has a legacy of beautiful items she made for each of them. Irene was predeceased by her husband Bernard, parents Chester and Helen and brother and sister-in-law, Chester and Ruth Zalewski. She is survived by her five daughters, Marcia and Don Eckerson; Bernadette and Calvin Cobb; Karen and Jarvis Henderson; Geri and Tom Van Gorder; Joan Perez. Irene is also survived by twelve grandchildren, Don and Heidi Eckerson; Jason Henderson and Debbie Colvin; Carrie and Christian Grandzol; Tom and Terra Henderson; Rob and Jennie Van Gorder; Ann Marie Eckerson; Michael and Courtney Van Gorder; Danielle Van Gorder; David Van Gorder; Jim Perez; Sarah Perez; Justin Perez. She cherished her great grandchildren, Michael, Clare and Coleman Grandzol; Dorothy and Baby Henderson; Chase and Lucy Van Gorder. She is also survived by her sister and brother-in-law Isabelle and Stanley Kowalski and brother-in-law and sister-in-law Stanley and Diane Chmielewski and many nieces and nephews. Irene and her family would like to thank Dr. Michael McCarville for his years of compassionate care. Ideal Senior Living Center was Irene's home for the past seven months and we would like to thank all her nurses, aides and staff for the love and care they showed to our mother. She loved all of you and you will always be her "Ideal" Family. Funeral Services will be held at 9 a.m. from Our Lady of Sorrows Church on Saturday, June 28, 2014. Burial will be in Calvary Cemetery, Johnson City. The family will receive friends at the Allen Memorial Home, 511-513 East Main Street, Endicott on Friday from 4-7 p.m. In lieu of flowers please consider contributions in Irene's memory be made to Our Lady of Sorrows Building Fund, 801 Main Street, Vestal, New York 13850.
Allen Memorial Home
511 E. Main St. Endicott, NY 13760
Published in Binghamton Press & Sun-Bulletin from June 26 to June 28, 2014