Irene Faye Koop
April 24, 1931 – January 18, 2020
Irene Faye Koop, the fifth and youngest daughter of Benjamin and Effie Franklin, was born April 24, 1931, in the back seat of the car on their way to the hospital in De Beque, Colorado. She had four older siblings: Clint, Retta, David and Rusty. By the time Irene was born, her family were members of the Seventh Day Adventist church. They would go to church every Sabbath in a horse drawn wagon. Her younger years were spent in De Beque, where she would roam the hills and find old Indian campgrounds and relics. She often said that her mom would know when she had seen a rattlesnake by the way she screamed.
At some point, the family moved to Basalt, Colorado where they farmed. She learned to play the accordion without any formal lessons and would often play for school programs. She often talked about riding a horse to school – giving it a pat and the horse would head back home. When the weather was nice she would walk home, but when the weather was bad either Rusty or her dad would come and get her.She graduated from the 8th grade in May of 1939.
Irene married Lawrence Koop on January 7, 1954 in Vernal, Utah. To this marriage, Irene brought her daughter Gwendolyn, age five. Lawrence formally adopted Gwen on January 24, 1957. Irene and Lawrence had two additional children: Ronald Eugene, November 1954 and Gayle Marie, August 1957. Irene worked as a Licensed Practical Nurse and around 1971, found out that she would need more schooling in order to keep her license: first Irene had to obtain her High School equivalent degree, then she went on to Community College of Denver and graduated with her Practical Nursing License on May 15, 1972. She was so proud that she had achieved this and not only doing it but graduating with a 4.0 Grade Point Average. Irene lost her health and had to retire from nursing shortly after graduation and never returned to the profession she loved.
After Lawrence retired, they decided to leave the Denver area and move to Grand Junction. They bought their house on Kathy Jo Lane on July 9, 1985. Many happy years were spent there where Irene enjoyed sewing, crocheting, reading, canning in the fall and going to church. She always looked forward to visits from her kids and grandkids.
The love of Irene’s life, Lawrence, passed away February 3, 2008, leaving Irene alone. Needing to be close to her girls, Irene decided to move back to the Denver metro area: a few weeks before she was to move, her beloved son, Ronald, passed away on March 29, 2009. In April of 2009, Irene moved and bought a condominium close to her daughter Gayle. She lived there for three years and, finding it hard to live alone, she moved in with her daughter Gwen.
When asked about her favorite quote, she would laugh and say she had many. One was: “Make life livable on earth while preparing for heaven.” Another one was: “This too shall pass.” When asked what her greatest achievements were, she said: “Graduating from LPN school, being a competent wife and mother, and raising three kids”
Irene was probably best known for being a voracious reader: It is unknown how many books she read, but the number would be well into the thousands. She was also known for the afghan’s she would crochet and for her embroidery. Irene loved the Lord and would spend many hours reading her Bible.
She leaves behind two children; Gwendolyn of Brighton, CO and Gayle (Andy) of Nampa Idaho, six grandchildren: Alphretta (Lonnie), Sebrina (Jeremy), Chelesa (Daniel), Nicole (Mike), Derik (Ashley), Bryston (Mikaela), six great-grandchildren: Kyleigh, Phoenix, Landon, Clarice, Landon and Baby Linch (due July 2020), as well as many nieces and nephews.
Irene went to sleep in Jesus on Saturday, January 18, 2020.
- Alphretta Erdman, Honorary Pallbearer
- Chelsea McDevitt, Honorary Pallbearer
- Sebrina Ivey, Honorary Pallbearer
- Nicole Witty, Honorary Pallbearer
- Derik Linch, Honorary Pallbearer
- Bryston Linch, Honorary Pallbearer
- Visitation Friday, January 24, 2020
- Funeral Service Saturday, January 25, 2020