Irene Walter

December 15, 1928January 6, 2021

Irene Krystyna (Efta) Walter was born in Greenbush, Minnesota to Joseph and Victoria Efta, December 15th, 1928. She had four older brothers and one younger sister. She has two surviving siblings: Raymond Efta of Greenbush, Minnesota and Theresa Vatthauer of Red Lake Fall, Minnesota. Irene was proudly of Polish heritage and she learned the Polish language and ate Polish dishes in her home. She taught many words and phrases still spoken by her children. Irene attended grade school in a one room schoolhouse in the country for eight years. She walked there most of the time, a good one and a half miles away. She attended high school in the small town of Greenbush. When at home, she supported her farm family doing many demanding chores. However, she never cared much for farm life. After graduating high school, she attended nursing school in Fargo, Grand Forks, and Jamestown in North Dakota. Her nursing career and passion for travel took her to many places across the United States. While working in Alaska and Florida she aided Polio patients, many in iron lungs. In January 1954, while nursing in Tampa, Florida, she met her husband James Walter, who was serving in the United States Air Force. Their first date was going to church together. They were married May 31st, 1955 in Greenbush. After they were married, Irene moved to Kansas City, where her husband was from. Her first job was working at St. Joseph’s hospital. She worked there to support her husband while he attended and ultimately graduated from Rockhurst College. After her third child was born, she proudly became and perfected being a stay-at-home mother. Within two weeks of having her sixth child, the family moved from Raytown to Lee’s Summit, Missouri into a beautiful 7-bedroom home. When Irene’s seventh and last child turned five, she went back to work as a Registered Nurse at John Knox Village in Lee’s Summit, in the Care Center and in Apartment Nursing. She retired after ten years of stellar service.

Irene volunteered at the Little Sisters of the Poor for several years, making beds every Wednesday, helping with craft sales and in the coffee shop. She also volunteered at Our Lady of the Presentation Catholic Church as a eucharistic minister, server for funerals, ‘holy doughnuts’ on Tuesday morning, bingo on Thursdays, mass coordinator, and as minister to the homebound. In addition, she regularly babysat for her grandchildren, whenever asked. Irene loved flowers, friends, neighbors, travel, and casinos. She loved life in general. She will leave behind seven beautiful children: Lawrence Walter of Kansas City, MO, Ivy Eaton of Lee’s Summit, MO, Nola Fowler (Russ) of Lee’s Summit, MO, Eileen Fitzwater (Ray) of Independence, MO, Carolyn Bolon (Greg) of Kansas City, MO, Joseph Walter (Marifer) of Bates City, MO, and Valerie Mancero (Paco) of Leawood, KS. She also has twelve wonderful grandchildren: Colby VanNess, Selena Johnson, Holly Van Dierendonck, Pete Fowler, Suzy Fowler, Zachary Fitzwater, Krystyna Fitzwater, Molly Fitzwater, Sofia Mancero, Julian Mancero, Brooke Bolon, and Brett Bolon. And, she has fifteen wonderful great grandchildren: Brayden, Brielle, Brooke, Ariya, Niko, Kai, Maverick, ZJ, Gabe, Phoenix, Lily, Kinley, CJ, Kayleb, and Elijah. Irene was and is greatly loved and admired by her family, friends, neighbors, and church family. She was extremely hardworking, practical, organized, determined, and loving to all. She was a devout Catholic and loved to say the rosary. She will be deeply missed, leaving a huge void in the hearts of many. Irene died peacefully on January 6th, 2021, with many of her children and grandchildren by her side. She had been looking forward to and is now reuniting with her husband and all those who have gone before her, to once again dance, listen to good music, and play cards.

Funeral Services will be available via livestream,

During services, masks are required and social distancing will be observed per health department guidelines.

The family will be having a celebration of life gathering this coming summer. All are invited to attend. Dates and location will be determined at a later date. For any interest in attending or for any questions you may have, contact Joe Walter @



  • Rosary Service

    Tuesday, January 12, 2021

  • Mass of Christian Burial

    Tuesday, January 12, 2021


Irene Walter

have a memory or condolence to add?

Suzy Fowler

January 11, 2021

When my family moved to Lee’s Summit, we moved in right across the street from Grandma. During my summers, breaks, and weekends I would frequently go visit her to play cards. Anyone who knows Grandma knows she was incredibly competitive, to the point of being a sore loser. As a teenager I hated when she became upset while losing, so I would frequently lose on purpose to keep her happy. The quality time was always more important than winning. Because of her I still love playing cards, especially with the rest of our family.

Lori Hilbrich

January 11, 2021

During this pandemic, there were several occasions when I was able to bring Holy Communion to Irene in her room. I also brought Fr. Joe Matt to her so he could anoint her. Every time I came, not only did she wish to receive our Lord in Holy Communion, she also wanted to hold my hand or enfold me in a hug. Lots of memories of Irene and her family over the years...some sweet, some funny. She will be missed and remembered. Her name will be entered into our Book of the Dead in the Memorial Space outside our Chapel.
Rest In Peace, dear Irene.
Chaplain Lori

Marifer Walter

January 9, 2021

Irene, my mother-in-law, was an exceptional woman. I thank her for welcoming me into her family, for her support and her love. I have fond memories of her and I admire her strength, her organization and work ethic. Thanks to her and my father-in-law Jim, I got the best gift of my life, their son Joe. Thanks for teaching your son to be an honest and a great man and husband. Thank you for introducing me to BLT's sandwiches. I never had them before coming to the USA and you made them for me for the fist time and now I love them! Irene was a great example of determination and of doing what is right, qualities I highly admire. I will always remember the last and long hug she gave me, because it was full of love. When I close my eyes I can still feel it and this memory is what I am going to keep with me forever. Gracias Irene querida suegra. ¡No adiós pero hasta la vista Irene!

Joe Walter

January 9, 2021

Thank you Mom for making me the man I am today. There are so many ways that I emulate you because they are qualities or ambitions which resonate so deeply with me. I'm organized, detail oriented, love cards, like having a cocktail a.k.a. attitude adjustment, love to travel, determination, taking charge, making quick decisions, and maybe being a little ornery. I love you so much and will have you in my heart the rest of my life.

Annelie Van Dierendonck

January 9, 2021

Condolences with the passing away of your mother .

Susan Seaman (Efta)

January 8, 2021

Dear Walter Cousins - you all have my deepest condolences for the passing of your mom. I will remember her laugh, her impeccable style and her incredible hairdo. She was FULL of spunk and no nonsense and always up for a good time. I am happy for her and Uncle Jim to be together again and I know she was incredibly proud of her kids. Big hugs and peace to all of you.
With Love,
Susan & Christopher Seaman
San Diego
(Jim and Cynthia's eldest)