July 25, 1922 — March 7, 2014
Irene Anne Weller passed away on Friday, March 7, 2014, at the age of 91. She was born on July 25, 1922, to Jacob and Frida Volk and would eventually become the middle child to her older brother Jim and her younger sister Mary. At the age of 17, Irene graduated from Lamberton High School, in Minnesota, class of 1940. After high school, Irene enrolled at Saint Mary’s School of Nursing in Minnesota and achieved her Diploma Nursing certificate. Being young and adventurous, Irene and her best friend, Blanche, decided to apply at Northwest Airlines as stewardesses. Because of their fun-loving personalities and the fact you had to be a nurse to fly with Northwest, Irene and her friend were hired. Irene and Blanche were based in Montana. In May of 1945 Irene and Blanche joined the war efforts of World War II. They enlisted into the U.S. Army Nurse Corp as second lieutenants. Stationed at a Mash Hospital in Van Nuys, Calif., Irene worked with POWs returning from the war. It was hard and emotional work, but at 5-foot-2, Irene stood tall in the pride she took by giving excellent and exemplary care. After her military service ended on June 11, 1947, Irene moved to the Pacific Northwest to attend Seattle College, known today as Seattle University. There she attended classes until 1948, when she was awarded her bachelor’s degree in nursing.
When Irene was offered a position as head floor Nurse at Providence Hospital in Everett, Wash., she decided to stay in the Pacific Northwest. She accepted the job, moved to Everett, worked at the hospital and began teaching nursing classes at Everett Community College. Within a year, she met Bob Weller at a New Year’s Eve party. Between his quick humor and her feisty comebacks, it wasn’t long before they were inseparable. On April 3, 1948, they were married at the Immaculate Conception Church in Everett.
Irene kept working until they had their first son, Tony, in 1954; a second son, Patrick, came into their lives two years later, and daughter, Mary, in 1960. In 1961 Bob and Irene moved to Arlington, Wash. Irene was a homemaker and continued her nursing profession with the Arlington school system. She also helped her husband in their family business, Weller Funeral Home. Irene was active in the community and joined various committees. She was very involved with her children’s activities and stayed up many a night baking cookies and sewing costumes. She loved playing bridge, playing golf and spending time with family at the family beach cabin she and Bob owned. Irene, in her 91 years, touched many lives and helped countless people. Irene was a member of Assumption Catholic Church of Walla Walla.
Irene was preceded in death by her husband, Bob, on Feb. 17, 2014; her parents, Jacob and Frida Seifert Volk; a brother, Jim Volk, and sister-in-law, Bernice Volk. She is survived by her children, Tony of Port Ludlow, Wash., Patrick of Los Angeles and Mary Wollmuth of Waitsburg; grandchildren, Christine of Austin, Texas, and Mollie of Dubai, UAE; and great-grandson, Karsten of Austin, Texas; son-in-law, Duane Wollmuth; her beloved sister, Mary Walters, and brother-in-law, Ross Walters; and brother-in-law, Joe Weller; and numerous nieces and nephews.
Rosary services will be 7 p.m., Sunday, March 16, 2014, at Herring Groseclose Funeral Home. Funeral Mass will be 1 p.m., on Monday, March 17, 2014, at Assumption Parish. Burial will be at the Arlington Cemetery, Arlington, Wash., on Wednesday, March 19, 2014, at 10 a.m. In lieu of flowers, donations can be made to Walla Walla Community Hospice or Walla Walla Catholic Schools through Herring Groseclose Funeral Home. Family and friends are invited to sign the online guestbook at www.herringgroseclose.com.