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Irene Mae Orgill

August 12, 1940 August 9, 2019
Irene Mae Orgill
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Obituary for Irene Mae Orgill

Irene Mae Orgill
August 12, 1940-August 9, 2019

Our beautiful and elegant mother Irene Mae Orgill, born and raised on a farm in Rulison, Colorado to Roy and Mary Perry, the sixth child of seven, was the epitome of quite grace.
She was proud of her heritage and often reminisced about growing up in a rustic home where the family kept the wood stove stoked in the winter as the only source of heat.

Mom took care of others. Once in her teens when her mother was out of town, she was left in charge of the kitchen. Her father wrote: “Irene is a dandy little cook. Fried chicken to an epicurean’s delight; cake that melts before it gets to your mouth; spuds cooked in a manner enjoyable even to the potato itself…” Apparently she excelled at the domestic skills in the way that young women were expected to do at the time of her youth. She was an excellent seamstress and learned to play piano by watching and listening to her older sister Jeanne play and by shadowing the ragtime songs sounded on the family’s player piano. She even played the French horn, the most complex instrument in the brass family. Her subtle grace made it all look easy, but clearly she worked hard.

Irene graduated High School with honors at 16. She was offered a scholarship to college, but was not allowed to attend. Instead she obtained permission to travel to California where her older brother Ed and sister Jeanne had already moved. Perhaps she had dreams of following in Jeanne’s footsteps to become a nurse or perhaps her brother’s in dentistry, but life happened and she met and eventually married Marvin Orgill.

They moved to Eugene where Marva and Carla were born. Irene worked as a secretary while Marvin attended the University of Oregon. Later our growing family moved back to California where Darold was born in 1966. A move to Boise was quickly followed by another move in 1967 to Spokane where her youngest, Edward came along.

Irene found herself with four kids, all under the age of seven, a thousand miles away from any extended family. And she managed to provide a home so full of love and support that it didn’t occur to us that the distance from our aunts and uncles and cousins was a little unusual.

1983 brought divorce. We were getting older and mom entered the workforce again. She managed to earn a position in the office for Spokane Teamsters Union Local 690, a great job coveted for its benefits. She advanced to office manager and ended her career there earning a well-deserved early retirement in 2000 after many years of hard work dedicated to her family.
Mom spent retirement enjoying the company of friends and family. She found love again and happiness, but this was interrupted with a brain aneurism. Thankfully it was caught quickly, and after a ground breaking “coil” procedure, she made a full recovery. However the event was likely the beginning of the dementia that ultimately took her life.

Irene lived and worked with grace and dignity. She was a beautiful, loving and caring mother, and a hard working professional respected and adored by many, most especially her family. She passed peacefully with loving family present.

Preceded in death by brothers Kenneth, Richard and Edward, she is survived by her four children Marva Crawford (Russell), Carla Orgill (Mark Polione), Darold Orgill (Teri Dickerson), Edward Orgill (Sonya), grandchild Angela Stella, brother Robert, sisters Jeanne and Marian, and many nieces and nephews.

The family would like to thank South Hill Village, Pineridge, Touchmark Homecare and Hospice of Spokane for their kindness and professionalism.

Donations can be made in Irene’s name to: www.dementiasociety.org/donate

To plant a tree in memory of Irene Mae Orgill, visit the Tribute Store.

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