Irene Gertrude Hennessey, 90, passed away on March 24, 2011, at the home of her daughter and son-in-law, Margaret and Larry Breasbois, in Merrill, Mich. She passed away quietly surrounded by her family.
Irene was born March 21, 1921, in Cleveland, Ohio, to Casmir and Mary Reichlin. She attended parochial grade school in Cleveland, where she made many lifelong friends. The family moved to Dearborn, where Irene attended Fordson High School, and met Ed Hennessey. They became high school sweethearts and were eventually married in 1943 at St. Gabriel's Church in Detroit.
Irene was an excellent athlete; she and two of her sisters, Adelaide and Marie, went to Wichita, Kansas to play in the AAU National Girls National Basketball Tournament. Irene was only 16 at the time. After graduating from high school, Irene worked on the early computers at Burroughs Corporation.
Irene was involved in many local activities. In the Detroit area she was a Girl Scout leader. After moving to Boyne City, she belonged to the Garden Club, the Monday Study Club and the Delta Delta sorority. Irene was an avid bridge player and belonged to several bridge groups. She was deeply involved in St. Matthews Church activities, where she was a special eucharistic minister, and baked for special church activities.
Irene was preceded in death by her parents; her sisters, Adelaide and Marie; and her brothers, Joseph and Francis.
She is survived by her husband, Edward; and a sister, Jeanette; her son, Michael Hennessey (Claudia); daughter, Margaret Breasbois (Larry); four grandchildren, Nicole Kuhnlien, Christine Johnston, Heather and Mathew Breasbois; and four great-grandchildren, Evie and George Kuhnlien, and Cole and Andrew Johnston.
She will be sadly missed by her many friends and especially by her family for whom she made so many sacrifices though the years.
Visitation will take place 2-4 p.m. and 6-7 p.m. Wednesday, March 30, at St. Matthews Church in Boyne City. A vigil service will follow visitation at 7 p.m.
The funeral Mass will be 11:30 a.m. Thursday, March 31, at St. Matthews Church with the Rev. Duane Wachowiak serving as celebrant. Burial will take place at Holy Sepulchre Catholic Cemetery in Southfield.
The family requests memorial donations to be directed to St. Jude Children's Research Hospital, 501 St. Jude Place, Memphis, Tenn. 38105.
Family and friends wishing to share a thought or memory of Irene are encouraged to do so online at www.stonefuneralhomeinc.com.
Stackus Funeral Home of Boyne City is serving the family.