Smith, Irene Helen—On September 6, 2020, Irene’s Heavenly Father called His child home to her eternal mansion.
Irene was born in Arbela Township, MI on December 11, 1933, to Oscar and Alma (Bauer) Petzold. Her Christian parents had her baptized and then led her to the faith she confessed in her confirmation at St. Paul Lutheran Church in Millington, MI. Irene attended St. Paul Lutheran School through her 8th grade year when she lovingly quit school to take care of her new baby sister, Elaine. Irene went on to complete her education receiving her GED. Irene’s beauty was noticed by many and earned her a spot on the Tuscola County Bean Queen court. On December 18, 1953, God united her to the love of her life, Ernest Emil who predeceased her on October 23, 2007. Shortly after their marriage, Ernie was sent to the Azores to serve his country as a Staff Sergeant in the Air Force. Although many miles separated them, they daily wrote each other letters. Irene saved every letter and continued to read and treasure them throughout her life. During this time, Irene worked at AC Spark Plug. When Ernie returned from the Azores, they purchased a home in Davison where they both worked for Kroger. Later they would work together to own and operate Worth’s Market in Millington as well as the Richville Party Store. Irene and Ernie were blessed to serve as foster parents and were joyfully led to adopt five children. They were also caring landlords to the people who lived in the ten rental houses they owned and managed. Irene and Ernie were faithful supporters and active members of St. Paul Lutheran where all five children attended Christian day school.
Irene will always be remembered by those she hopes to see again one day in heaven, her children, Ernest (deceased) Smith, Teresa (Carl deceased) Hayes, Mildred Smith, James Smith and Natalie Smith; her five grandchildren Jeff Smith, Michelle (Brandon) Wolvin, Justin Gullett, Andrea Lorigan and Jonathan Hayes; and her four great grandchildren Alexander Meredith, Sean Lorigan, Margaret Lorigan and Ryan Hayes. Irene also treasured her five brothers Alton Petzold (deceased), Wallace (Shirley) Petzold (both deceased), Rolland (Florence) Petzold (both deceased), Willard (Carolyn) Petzold and Roy (deceased) (Shirley) Petzold and her sister Elaine (James) Bickel. Also important to Irene were her many nieces and nephews who she enjoyed spoiling with her cookies and treats and the special cousins with whom she shared many childhood memories. A lifelong friend, Dolores, was God’s special gift to her. Her Smith family included Lorraine Roth, Nola (Mike) Pyles, Rose (Bill) Vanaman, June Beebe, Norm Smith (deceased) and Dan (deceased) (Virginia) Smith.
Friends and family may pay their respects to Irene at Hanlin Funeral Home in Millington on Tuesday, September 8, 2020 from 4:00 to 7:00 p.m. A funeral service will be held for Irene at St. Paul Lutheran Church on Wednesday, September 9, 2020 at 1:00 p.m. with the Rev. James Bruner officiating. Memorials may be given to Valley Lutheran High School or St. Paul Lutheran Church Building Fund. Please comply with current health and safety guidelines.
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