Irena O'Leary

29 March, 197318 September, 2020

Irena was born to Stjepan and Ljubica Pirih in 1973 in Zagreb, Croatia. She decided to move to Canada when she was all of 15 years old and came to live with her Uncle Drago, Aunt Isabel, and their children, Lisa and Carlo, in Ontario working at “the lake”.

Irena was then welcomed into the Currie family by Bill and Teri with open arms and helped raise their children, Matt and Shannon, whom she loved dearly, for many happy years. Irena and Kevan were always included as part of the Currie family and they enjoyed many travelling adventures together.

Irena and Kevan had their first and second dates almost 10 years apart and were married in 2005 in a beautiful simple ceremony in Toronto. They were lucky to spend 15 of the best years together and were the loves of each others' lives. They also loved and raised Leia, their beautiful puppy, together.

Irena loved to hike and explore the beautiful woods of Vancouver, cook incredible meals, travel the world, and celebrate life with her extended family and amazing friends.

Irena passed away too soon on September 18th, 2020 from complications due to Lupus.

Irena is survived by her husband, Kevan, her mother, Ljubica, her brother, Hrvoje, and her nieces and nephews Loris, Leona, Teddy and Andrew. She will be greatly missed by everyone including her mother-in-law, Sandra (Howard), father-in-law, Michael (Judy), and sister-in-law, Emma (Sean).

A “Celebration of Life” gathering in Ontario will be organized and announced at a later date.

Memorial contributions may be made to Lupus Canada at:

You will always be remembered.

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Diana Holmes

30 September 2020

Aaron, Nicole, Connor and I had the pleasure of spending many Currie family vacations getting to know Kevan and Irena over the years. Some of our best memories are sitting on the patio in the DR having great conversations and many laughs with Kevan and Irena. Irena’s generosity knew no bounds and she readily helped out Connor and Nicole when needed. We all miss her and feel a tremendous loss.

Kevan, although your life together was cut far too short, you were truly blessed to have such a beautiful marriage and to have a love built on a foundation of respect, kindness and adventure. We were all fortunate to have witnessed it and been a small part of it. We can’t imagine the loss you must be feeling.

Irena, thank you for helping to raise two of my favourite people. You will not be forgotten.

Love Diana and Aaron

Leon Browder

30 September 2020

We first met Irena after she joined the Currie family in Dundas, Ontario, to help Teri and Bill care for Matthew and Shannon. A strong, enduring bond was formed with her. We maintained our ties with Irena and Kevan through the many travel opportunities due to Teri and Bill's generosity. We had many years traveling to warm, sunny and scenic locations during Boxing Week and joining Shannon for Homecoming at USC. Irena and Kevan's visits to the Currie's cottage with Nala were always a special time for us and provided many wonderful memories.

Irena and Kevan's move to Vancouver gave us an opportunity to see them more often. We live in Calgary and spend time in Osoyoos, BC, which is about a five hours drive from Vancouver. We were excited to share time with them, exploring the Okanagan Valley and visiting its many wineries.

We were devastated to learn that Irena had lost her battle with lupus. Her wonderful sense of humour, her hearty laugh, but most of all her insight, intelligence and quick wit are unforgettable. She was smart, inquisitive, loved to discuss politics and never shied from an opportunity to denounce injustice. She was a warm and thoughtful person who will forever stay in our hearts.

Leon and Sandy

Bill Currie

29 September 2020

We met Irena in 1993 when Shannon was one year old. In her naturally courageous way Irena had migrated to Canada from a troubled Croatia and ended up agreeing to live with our family and care for our two young children. She immediately fell in love with Shannon and tripped over Matthew, two relationships that remained the same until the kids were grown.

Irena was naturally competitive and protective (especially around Croatian basketball, all soccer and our kids). She would battle Matt over schoolwork and whether he got up on time (ever) but she would protect him (and Shannon) from others always. Matt and Irena eventually became fast friends and Irena’s beloved Kevan would be Matt’s best man.

She and Kevan have always been part of our family and I considered Irena a dear (and often mischievous) friend. I will miss her always and cherish her memory.

Teri Currie

29 September 2020

Kevan, I don’t think a day has gone by since losing Irena that I haven’t thought about her and missed her. I know you’ve lost your soul mate and best friend, and my heart continues to go out to you.

Irena, you left us too early. I will miss...

Your snorkelly laugh,
When you made Shannon flash cards,
When you had those epic battles to get Matt to school,
When you directed Matt in his first film, and it was awesome,
When you chased Nala down the street while she was running into the neighbors’ houses and stealing their dogs’ toys, treats and throwing up there as well,
Your snorkelly laugh,
When you shrieked when the frog greeted you that morning in the Dundas basement toilet,
When you screamed and shook when the snake was on the Oakville driveway,
When you yelled at the TV to spur on your Croatian soccer and basketball teams,
When you married your perfect match,
How you were so great with Don and Marion,
That you were the best non-licensed financial planner,
That you were our traveling pharmacy,
That you always had snacks in your bag - fruit berries anyone?
When we played that stupid game in the van on the way to not see the turtles,
Your snorkelly laugh,
That you would keep me company on the dance floor always,
Your karaoke performances - maybe not?
That you fought with me about whether Camila Cabello and Shawn Mendes were a real couple,
That you were almost as good an actor/liar as me in the murder mystery game,
Your snorkelly laugh,
That you became a hiking aficionado,
That you always told me how people were feeling, no holds barred,
That you helped my kids to become the fabulous human beings that they are today,
That you kept me grounded, making me a better person.

Irena, we will miss you forever, and I will be crying for your loss for some time. We know that we are all better for you being a part of who we have become.

I love you and I wish our time hadn’t been cut short...and I know I will miss your laugh always! Love Teri

Jane Kenyon Bell

29 September 2020

Kevan, I remember our many Currie family trips and weddings and spending time with Irena and you. We always had so much fun, whether it was climbing volcanos in Costa Rica or watching a football game in California.

Irena will be missed by so many people, she was taken way too young. Looking at all the photos it is so evident that you shared so many wonderful times together, may those memories give you comfort in the days ahead.

My deepest sympathy to you, your family and Irena's family


Peter Levitt

28 September 2020

It has been over a week since Irena left us, so young and full of life, she left us too soon. Mai and I pause many times, every day, to talk about her, to miss her and to mourn her. We so enjoyed getting to know her over the decades, on many trips and holiday gatherings. The time we spent together on the Currie trips was always awesome, but perhaps most special was the time the four of us (and Rachel) had in Vegas together where we shared our thoughts and dreams. And of course touring your brand new deck at your cottage - wow! Irena, we learned, knew everything about anything and only the courageous would argue with her - that made her special! We relied many times on the pharmacy she packed in a suitcase, and her advice on many topics. Kevan, we are deeply saddened by your loss. Stay close to us and together we will keep Irena's memory alive and strong.

In sadness, support and love
Peter and Mai

Gaurav Vaish

27 September 2020

I was truly privileged to have worked with Irena and have her wonderful support at TD - Toronto. She will always be remembered as an incredible friend who was sincere, lively, caring, kind and had a great sense of humor.

I will always remember her smile and positive attitude.

Kevan and family, my deepest condolences for your loss.

She will be missed.


Krista Gilbert

25 September 2020

Irena and I met as Colleagues and quickly became friends. I keep remembering all of the wonderful times we shared, and i will cherish these memories. She truly was a special soul. Irena often spoke about Kevan and their adventures and her face would light up during those conversations.

My thoughts and prayers are with you Kevan and Irena's family during this difficult time.

Tomislav Dulčić

25 September 2020

Irena was my childhood friend, we were schoolmates for 12 years.
After she left Croatia, we remained in occasional contact, directly and through our friends and families.
I will remember her as an honest and positive person, even now I can see her eyes and smile and hear her laughter.

Dear Kevan and family, I am so sorry for your loss.

My deepest sympathies,


Catherine Lymburner

24 September 2020

I am so sorry for your loss. Irena & I worked together in Vancouver on the same floor. A bunch of us on the floor (including me & Irena) liked to watch the silly reality show 90 Day Fiance & one of the former couples on the show would call each other "baby love." So those of us on the floor that watched the show would call each other baby love (in person and in e-mails). It was fun to say "good morning baby love" as I walked by Irena's office. Or if I had a work question I would e-mail.
"Hi baby love, ...." And now I just wanted to say goodbye baby love, Irena. You will be missed by your friends on 3rd floor & by many others.


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