Nature 35

Irene L. Reed

March 14, 1936 ~ January 22, 2024 (age 87) 87 Years Old

Irene Reed Obituary

Irene Lois Reed (Winnie) peacefully passed away Monday morning, January 22, 2024 at the age of 87.  She was born on March 14, 1936 in Hinton Township, Mecosta County, MI to Herbert and Mable (Maxon) Winnie.  Irene graduated high school in 1954 and later moved to Grand Rapids, MI at the age of 19.  She worked hard and grew to become a very strong and independent young woman before meeting her great love, Darrell Reed.  They were wed June 27, 1959, and had three children, Valerie, Kevin, and Sandra.

Irene has been lovingly reunited with her great love, Darrell and their two beloved daughters, Valerie DeKubber and Sandra Reed.  She is also preceded in death by her parents and siblings, Bruce, Hilda, and Earl Winnie, and Lucille Craven. 

Irene was survived by her two children Kevin Reed and Chantal Ramirez, her siblings, Gladys Walker, Helen and Duane Winnie, and Loraine Withy, along with many grandchildren and great grandchildren, several aunts, uncles, nieces, nephews, and cousins. 

Irene worked as an accountant at Georgia Pacific for twenty-three years and had many wonderful stories to tell of her time there.

Irene was devoted to reading her Bible every morning before breakfast and would recite scripture often, especially, Luke 6:31.  She enjoyed playing cribbage with family and at the local American Legion.  Irene also enjoyed the game of golf and would participate in two leagues every summer with her sister, Helen.  Lastly, her at home hobbies included baking, sewing blankets or tote bags for her grandchildren and tending to all of her beautiful flowers in her front and backyard gardens. Irene had a wonderfully, distinguished green thumb.

Lastly, some of Irene’s family members would like to share their most fond memories of her.

Kevin, Irene’s beloved son, will always cherish his many memories cooking her favorite meals at dinner time and of course her favorite breakfast, an omelet that was always prepared well with love and bigger than her stomach.  Their great love for food and feeling most comfortable in the kitchen will always be a favorite past time for Kevin.

Gladys, Irene’s older sister, recounts of Irene as a strong-minded woman. Once her mind was made up, she stood firm in her decision.

Helen, her sister, who has been by her side all of her life, will cherish all of the competitive cribbage games they played for pennies over the years, as well as their many fond memories playing golf.  Not to mention all of the life events that happened in between, such as one in particular where Helen remembers fondly of Irene’s bravery after being kicked by a cow on their family farm and never crying.  Their brother, Duane, stood near saying with laughter, how Irene’s the one who was kicked by the cow and stood strong never shedding a tear while Helen’s eyes filled with tears after never being kicked.  It will be a memory that always brings smiles and laughter to Helen and those she recounts this story to.  

Duane, her younger and playful brother has some very lively memories of their time together. Duane remembers Irene’s bravery characteristic well.  He recounts how Irene always stood up to everyone, even if they were bigger than her. He remembers an instance when their older brother, was running after her, because she had stood up for her sister, Helen.  Duane remembers having his big sister, Irene’s back and stepped in to try and stop their older brother from getting to her too quickly before their dad came home.  Duane also remembers wanting to play games like being a cowboy with his sisters, but them having other plans and wanting to play tea party.  He would forever change their tea party plans by hiding their dishes from them as they played.  Duane’s most mischievous memory with Irene was when they would sit on the bus together every day after school and Duane would always want to throw spit wads.  He could always rely on his big sister, Irene, to help him prepare the little balls fast enough to keep throwing at his peers and siblings.  Bus rides were never a dull moment for Irene and Duane.

Loraine, Irene’s younger sister, remembers warm-heartedly, of her sister’s generosity.  Loraine lovingly describes Irene being very generous with her time, especially when it came to researching their family genealogy and making books for all of her siblings to have of their family lineage.  She was generous with her time and resources.

Irene’s grandson, Tony Fulvi, will always remember his grandma teaching him the game of cribbage.  Irene also spent many weekends traveling to Tony to ensure he was well and taken care of when they didn’t live near each other.

Irene’s daughter, Chantal, will always cherish her mother’s constant support for her.  From the time of her adoption to Chantal becoming a mom of her own, Irene was there for it all. Irene’s continuous and constant support was always present in more ways than one.  Irene took care of Chantal at an older age, but always had a young spirit in her. These are the memories Chantal will always carry with her.

Her great-grandson, Marcus, will always look back on his many fond memories of his Grandma Reed cooking him eggs and bacon every morning before the school bus and the occasional oatmeal breakfasts with banana and those dashes of sugar and honey on top.  He will always think of her when enjoying their favorite desserts together: brownies or fruit with ice cream. 

Her great-grandchildren, Elias, Micah, and Ezra will always remember shortly after arriving to Grandma Reed’s being given brownies or cookies when visiting her after preschool to eat lunch with her.

Countless, cherished memories were made during many summers at the family cottage that will be remembered by Irene’s children and grandchildren.  Along with many co-workers of hers enjoying her treasure chest cookies she baked every Christmas.

She will be remembered most of all for always being an open door for her children and grandchildren to come home to at any time. She was a great safe haven for all who needed care at any stages in life.  We all thank her for being our strength!

In closing, Irene’s family would like to thank the wonderful team members of Corewell Health and Rehabilitation Facility on Fuller.  Starting from the reception desk to the care team of her nurses, aides, food service personnel, and among others who tended dearly to her and her family with great care and respect.  Thank you from the bottom of our hearts. 

The family would also like to say thank you to Corewell Health Hospice, especially the social workers and nurse, Mandy, who kindly updated the family members routinely of our loved one’s care.  Thank you for being so attentive to our beloved family member.

Her children stand up and call her blessed. Her husband also rises up, and he praises her. He says, “Many women do excellent things. But you are better than all of the others.” A woman who has respect for the Lord should be praised. Give her honor for all that her hands have done. Let everything she has done bring praises to her at the city gate. – Proverbs 31: 28-31

For since we believe that Jesus died and rose again, even so, through Jesus, God will bring those who have fallen asleep. – 1 Thessalonians 4:14

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