Irene Pryor

March 23, 1923January 30, 2021

Springfield, IL-Lois I. “Irene” Pryor, 97, of Springfield, passed away at 2:52 pm Saturday, January 30, 2021 at Memorial Medical Center in Springfield.

She was born in Sioux Falls, SD, March 23, 1923 the daughter of Leon Franklin and Lulubelle (Andes) Varns. She married James H. Pryor in St. Louis, MO January 2, 1942 and he preceded her in death, March 29, 2013. She was also preceded in death by her parents, a sister, Ethel Keck, a brother, Thomas Varns and a grandson, Timothy Pryor.

Irene was a faithful wife, loving mother and devoted caretaker to her parents and her in-laws. She loved her family and found great joy spending time with them and especially her grandchildren and great grandchildren. She was a women of great faith and a member of Springfield First Seventh-day Adventist Church.

Growing up in the depression, Irene learned quickly the ways and means to run the house and care for her family. She was an outstanding cook with many specialties and family recipes that became her signature dishes. She became so well known for her talents in the kitchen that she was requested to teach others at a cooking school sponsored by her church. Irene found pleasure in this endeavor and was honored to share with others. She was an accomplished vegetable gardener. She loved to tend to the garden and when it was time to harvest, she would then spend hours canning in her kitchen. Irene was an early recycler. She would find uses for old newspapers, paper grocery bags, plastic bread wrappers and even milk cartons. These virtues and many others will be treasured in her family’s minds for many years to come.

She is survived by her children: Judy L (Kirby) Laughlin of Casper, WY, Jay L (Lerona) Pryor of Waterloo, IL, Lee F. “Frank” (Patricia R. LaPorte-Pryor) Pryor and Dennis W. (Mary) Pryor both of Springfield. She has five grandchildren: Tiffany (Mike) Morgan of New Castle, CO, Jami Pryor of Litchfield, IL, Justin (Maggie) Pryor of Beatrice, NE, Nicole Pryor-Cumby of Springfield, and James Pryor of San Antonio, TX. There are five great grandchildren and several nieces, nephews and cousins.

Honoring her wishes, cremation rites will be accorded by the Bisch Crematory. Inurnment for her and Jim will be in Camp Butler National Cemetery at a later date.

In lieu of flowers, those who wish may direct memorial contributions in her name to Warrior NOW. A Veteran’s organization Irene’s granddaughter Tiffany serves with.

Please visit the online “Life Remembered Story” at where tributes and condolences may be shared with the family.

Arrangements are in the care of Bisch and Son Funeral Home. 217-544-5424


  • Warrior NOW


  • A Memorial Service will be held at a later date


Irene Pryor

have a memory or condolence to add?

Tom & Jo Ann Currie

February 2, 2021

Joy comes in knowing that our loved ones are with Jesus. May God surround all of you with His love, peace, and comfort during this time.

Molly Risse

February 2, 2021

Denny, and Family, I am so very, very sorry for your loss. I will be keeping you in my prayers. May God Bless you All🙏🏻

Karen Devarose

February 2, 2021

I am very saddened to hear this news. Irene was a very precious lady. I have missed her so much because of this corona virus. I had the privilege of doing
Irenes hair for many years. We had some wonderful talks through the years. She was one of the kindest people I ever new. She was a gem and she will always remain in my heart. R.I.P. Irene.💜

Christine Anzalone

February 1, 2021

She will be truly missed. She had to be a wonderful and loving person.
Because she raised and amazing son Denny.

Juanita Thomas

February 1, 2021

Irene was really special to me and my family. She was my husband Gene Thomas' cousin and we all had many good times with Irene and the family when we were all a bit younger. Later we managed to visit Springfield and visit with her and dear Jim, those were really nice times for us. I myself am now 95 years old and was able to talk with Irene on the phone now and then even during this past year and will miss hearing her sweet voice signing off with "ta ta" in that cheerful ladylike way she always had. She will be dearly missed. Heartfelt condolences from me and all of my family to each family member during this time of missing Irene. We'll meet again in heaven I'm sure so it's "ta ta" and not farewell...Much love, Nita and Family