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Cook-Walden/Forest Oaks Funeral Home and Memorial Park

6300 West William Cannon Drive, Austin, TX

OBITUARY

Irene Riojas Rodriguez

September 22, 1957September 13, 2020

Irene is survived by her daughter, Clarissa Rodriguez Talbert, Son-in-Law James Franklin Talbert II, her son, Juan Javier Rodriguez, Daughter-in-Law Kristen Marie Cayer Rodriguez, two grandchildren, Lucia Jasmine Talbert and James Franklin Talbert III, sister, Mari Riojas Lester, Brother-in-Law Sam Lester, brother Greg Riojas, Sister-in-Law Mari Riojas, sister-in-law, Norma Riojas, nieces, Marisa Crutchfield & husband Lionel Cructchfield, Aide Riojas, Annette Zaccaro & husband Mike Zaccaro, nephew Roberto Avila & wife Janie Avila and extended family members and caring friends who loved her dearly. Irene is preceded in death by her brother, David Riojas.

Irene was the youngest daughter of the late Irene González Riojas and Gregorio Riojas. Throughout her life Irene remained connected and committed to the people and the roots of her hometown, Eagle Pass, Texas. Her Familia and Amigos were always at the heart and center of her life. She raised her two children, Clari and Javi in Austin, Texas while at the same time building a career of exceptional service and leadership in the field of Child Passenger Safety and Injury Prevention. In recognition of her legacy and lasting contributions Irene was inducted into the 2020 Manufacturers Alliance Child Passenger Safety (MACPS) Hall of Fame for the indelible impression she left throughout her career. Irene travelled the world and in doing so shared and created opportunities for celebrations, experiences and memories for everyone around her. For family and friends, Irene has been an example of grace, humility, courage, optimism, inspiration and joy of a Life Well Lived.

Services

No public services are scheduled at this time. Receive a notification when services are updated.

Memories

Irene Riojas Rodriguez

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Bev Kellner

September 20, 2020

Fond memories of working with Irene when teaching National Child Passenger Safety Technician classes and at big car seat checkup events in our area. She helped many a student whose first language was not English understand the many concepts and be successful in the class. She was patient and caring with every student and every family she worked with. No doubt, she has saved many lives with the education she provided. Irene was always fun to work with and will be dearly missed! Thinking of her family at this very sad time.
Bev

Cynthia Kidd

September 20, 2020

I did not know Irene well. I met her through her wonderful sister Mari and each time I saw her, she was as warm and welcoming as if we’d always known each other. I know that her family will sorely miss her and grieve for her, but she will always be alive through their memories of her and through the lives she has touched. Take your rest, Irene. Rest in heaven.

Martha Maldonado

September 19, 2020

I’ll never forget the first time I met you as a CPS instructor candidate almost 20 years ago. I never had a conversation with you amiga that didn’t lead to laughter and reminiscing of our car seat mischiefs and mishaps. This world will never be the same without you. That infectious laughter and red smile will forever live in my memories. Even though we never lived in same city we stayed only a phone call away. Our last dinner when you were newly diagnosed is a memory I will carry forever listening to how you were going to enjoy retirement and time with your family and just love on those grand babies! Thank you for being such a wonderful friend and mentor. I can only imagine how the family is missing you. Please accept my sincere condolences and prayers to provide you the strength to get through such a difficult time and loss.

Martha

Dolores Huitron

September 19, 2020

I will tell you that I met a strong and brave woman, who was not intimidated by the obstacles of life; and at the seme time she was kind, tender and always ready to help. With a beautiful red smile and pretty expressive eyes. My dear Neni, my beautiful yogini 🧘🏻‍♀️ You will live forever in my heart 🌹

Katie Womack

September 19, 2020

I am so saddened to hear of Irene’s passing. My heartfelt condolences to Irene’s family, loved ones, and many, many friends. Irene made us all feel like extended family. I am blessed with many happy memories made during our time sharing road trips and working together at TTI. To her family, please know that Irene made her mark on the world with the work she did and as the wonderful person she was. Her spirit lives on in all of us inspired by her.

Elisa Avila

September 19, 2020

Irene, from the first day I met you back in 2009 you made me feel like family. Your genuine charisma, contagious smile, and bakery stories involving my grandfather will truly be missed. My favorite thing about you was how much you prioritized family and traditions, that is something that you inspired in me, and I will continue to carry it on in your memory. Your one of a kind personality will truly be missed. Clari, Javi, Mari, and Greg, our hearts are mourning along with yours. We honestly wish we could be with you all during these times.

Tareka Wheeler

September 19, 2020

My deepest condolences to Irene’s family. My heart broke when I heard the news! Irene was a giant in child safety and such a beautiful person. She was one of my instructors when I first became a Certified Child Passenger Safety Technician, and we worked together for 8 years educating families, advocating for a better TX CPS law, and training new technicians. When I was the Coordinator for Safe Kids Austin, she was elected to our board and served for many years. She always said “ I’ll be there if you need me.” Her love for child passenger safety was infectious, and her smile with her favorite red lipstick 💄 will forever be etched in my memory. You will be missed, but your legacy in TX and around the world will live on forever!

Mary Vidaurri-Duenes

September 18, 2020

Irene was a sweet classmate of mine. Class of 76, Eagle Pass High School. I will forever be grateful to her for always keeping up with all of us and getting us to be reunited for class (group) reunions. The last conversations I had with her I had mentioned to her that I referred to her as “Our Mother of the class of ‘76”.
Our condolences to her Family from Chente n Mary.

Terrie Bernal-Sanchez

September 18, 2020

Hugs. Kisses. And much love.
Prayers & healing light to the Riojas family.
Soar high Irene. Prayers that your journey home is beautiful & you are received with Glory & Love by all your family & friends that await you.
Abrazos y besos....

Pilar Corona

September 18, 2020

My thoughts and prayers are with everyone. I worked with Irene’s sister, Mari, a few years ago and I met Irene through her. Right away, I felt Irene’s warmth through her smile and could feel how genuine she was. She was always so welcoming each time I saw her. I know she loved her family as I could see how proud she was of her kids and grandkids. I pray for peace for her family.

FROM THE FAMILY

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