Irene R. WILLIAMS (1920 - 2018)

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Passed away peacefully from cancer at the age of 98, on July 5th, 2018. She died in her home in Spokane, comfortable and surrounded by her loving family.
Irene was born May 13th, 1920 to Anna and Reverend Gustav Hafner, in Potter, Kansas. The family moved to the small farming community of Frohna, MO where her father became Pastor at Concordia Lutheran Church. She and her siblings Dorothy, Alvin, Edgar, and Charles were raised as proper "Pastor's Kids", spoke both German and English and enjoyed a memorable upbringing during The Great Depression.
A bright young woman, Irene graduated from Perryville High School in 1938. In 1941, she graduated from the Lutheran Hospital School of Nursing in St. Louis, MO. Her brave and adventurous spirit led her to buck tradition and enlist in the US Navy Nurse Corps, eventually reaching the rank of Lieutenant. She lent her talents, skills and compassion as a Registered Nurse to tend injured Navy personnel returning from campaigns in the Pacific.
During her three years of active duty, her postings included the Naval Hospitals in San Diego and Treasure Island in San Francisco. She was transferred to Whidbey Island Naval Air Station in Oak Harbor, WA. While there, she met Garland "Gar" Williams of Lewiston, ID, a pilot in the PBY squadron. They fell in love and were married in San Francisco, CA on December 6, 1945.
After the War ended, they moved to Wenatchee, WA where Cyndi and Rich were born, followed by Sue who was born in Spokane after Gar and the family moved there for work. After raising her three children, Irene went to Spokane Community College to recertify as a Registered Nurse. She worked on the Orthopedics unit at Holy Family Hospital in Spokane for many years until retirement.
Her beloved husband, Gar, passed in 1982 and Irene's unwavering independence and strong will helped her live on her own until the end. She loved planning, planting and sharing her summer garden, especially her abundant crops of zucchini and tomatoes. Her sense of adventure took her on many travels over her long life-from helping as a cook on a family Alaskan fishing boat, visits back to her hometown and visiting a number of countries across Europe with family and friends.
Irene was well loved by family, friends and neighbors. She actively participated in an aerobics group for over 30 years with dear friends and maintained her independent, energetic lifestyle throughout her years. She was a charter member of Gloria Dei Lutheran Church in Spokane until its closing, afterward becoming a member of Holy Cross Lutheran Church. She had a lovely singing voice and relished the services at Lake Chelan Lutheran Church where the family would attend Christmas Eve services while visiting her daughter, Sue.
Irene leaves behind a heartsick family of her three children: Cynthia A. Rounds, Richard P. Williams and Susan L. Garrood and three grandchildren: Kelsey E. Rounds, Katrina M. Rounds, and Samuel D. Rounds.
Services for Irene will be held at Heritage Funeral Home on Monday, July 16, 2018 at 10:00 am. In lieu of flowers, memorials can be made to the MS Society or Hospice of Spokane.


Funeral Home
Heritage Funeral Home
508 North Government Way
Spokane, WA 99224
(509) 838-8900
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Published in Spokesman-Review on July 11, 2018
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