Photo courtesy of Ortmann-Stipanovich Funeral Home

Irene J. Backer

Creve Coeur, Missouri

May 18, 1934 – Feb 18, 2021 (Age 86)


May 18, 1934
February 18, 2021
Creve Coeur, Missouri


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Ortmann-Stipanovich Funeral Home Obituary

Irene J. Backer (nee Kustra) of Chesterfield, MO, on Feb. 18, 2021. Born on 05-18-34 to Joseph B. and Helen L. (nee Wojciechowski) Kustra. Beloved wife of Donald J. Backer for 62 years; mother of Michele (Ken) Abrams, Mark, Eric, Paul (Valerie Pacer); grandmother of Jason (Christine) Abrams, Luke, Ben, Grace, Owen, Jacob, Lucy; great-grandmother of Callie, Payton, Makayla, Abigail; sister of Darlene A. Kustra. Body donated to science. Celebration of her life to follow end of COVID.



This obituary is a surprise to most of you.

Irene had dementia. It’s a disease which robs the mind. But it also robs the body, one organ at a time. About 6 months ago, she said “I’ve Lost My Words”. And she could no longer speak as she had been able to do.

Then lost her writing. Then 3 weeks ago she could not walk. That’s when I began to say – “Yesterday I couldn’t spell caregiver – today I are one”.

She went into hospice at Garden View Nursing Home here in Chesterfield 3 weeks before the end. She was in quarantine for what was supposed to be 12 days. Our connection to her was through Zoom.

Eight days into the quarantine she had to go to the Hospital ER because of a medical problem that the Nursing Home couldn’t handle. But when she returned to the Nursing Home, because she had left the building, she had to be retested for COVID and had to restart her quarantine. So we never had a chance to be physically with her. To hold her. To kiss her. That was wrenching.

Anyway, we’d love to hear some “Happy Talk” from you.

Ortmann Stipanovich Funeral Home

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February 26, 2021 Darlene, I am so sorry about your sister. With sympathy and friendship, Patti Bubash Special School District Clayton, MO contact me

I remember the All Star Game of 1966. Don had tickets for the men of the family. We all met at Don and Irene's house for lunch before the guys went to the game. Just as we sat down for lunch, the electric went out {rolling black outs} which meant the house would get warm without electricity. Irene to the rescue. She said the basement will be cooler so everyone grab their utensils and head for the basement. She was right it was much better in the basement. She was always thinking and...

Paulette and I always enjoyed spending time with you and Irene. She was such a caring and loving lady. She will be missed by so many!

Donnie and all of your family have my most deepest and sincere sympathy in losing your dear Wife and Mother and Grandmother. All of you are in my thoughts and prayers in this very sad time in your lives.

Irene was the first of the grandchildren of Rose Kustra. My father, Uncle Walter to Irene, and my mother, Aunt Loretto, thought Irene "hung the moon" as she was the example for the rest of the grandchildren to follow. They talked often of her beauty and caring manner.

When Don came along, my parents knew the perfect match was made. My heartfelt sympathy goes out to the entire Backer/Kustra family at this sad moment. I know Irene will be missed by all who knew and...

To the Backer Family- Mrs. Backer was a wonderful person. Many fond memories from our St. Casimir days. Thoughts and prayers to all of you.

I extend my deepest sympathy to the Backer family. Mrs. Backer was such a kind, caring and beautiful person. I have many fond memories of her from our days at St. Casimir’s. I send you many thoughts and prayers.

Letter writing is now a lost art, but was not to Irene. We really enjoyed the hand-written letters that she sent us from time to time. Her handwriting was superb; she must have gotten an A+ in penmanship. Her letters were informative, and written in her own style of humor. We looked forward to receiving them.

I also remember the excellent dinner parties Irene put on for many of us. She was a superb cook, and very well-organized. Later, she also contributed healthy baked goods to...

Dear Don, Harold and I want to extend our deepest sympathy to you and the family. May Our Lord give you peace and comfort.