June 27, 1942 – March 19, 2022
Irene Schlabach was born June 27, 1942 in Wooster, Ohio, the daughter of Mahlon and Mary Schlabach. She was raised in Salem, Oregon, alongside her sister, Esther Field. Irene attended Chemeketa Community College to study drafting. She was skilled at graphic design, and worked for CH2M Hill for many years. She also worked as an all-around help for some of her close friends, which she enjoyed greatly. Irene was a member of Western Mennonite Church. She valued the fellowship and friendships she cultivated there, and enjoyed making decorations for Church events. Irene always preferred to be outdoors when given the opportunity. She found joy and contentment in her natural environment, and liked to photograph nature in all its aspects. She loved seeing wildlife, and often recounted stories of animals that visited her property. Caring for her goats and sheep was a bright spot for her. Irene loved bluegrass, choir, and gospel music. She designed a majestic gazebo by the Willamette River where local musical groups performed, and she loved to relax in these wooded surroundings. In almost all seasons, Irene invited friends and family around her campfire under the trees. Irene was artistic, and loved working with her hands and crafting original designs and arrangements. She also enjoyed designing invitations and announcements and was happy to share her talent with others. She cultivated unique and beautiful plants. She created delicious dishes, showing her love through cooking and hospitality. Irene was a devoted sister and aunt. She was a constant loving presence for her nephews and niece as they grew, and loved her role as great-aunt to each of her great-nephews and great-nieces. Irene is survived by nephews Dan and Ben Field, niece Naomi Gunter, seven great-nephews and nieces, cousins, and many dear friends. The family would like to extend special thanks to Irene’s friends for providing an outpouring of love and support.See more See Less
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