Irene Mary Blank
September 11, 1927 – February 6, 2020
It is with deepest sorrow we share the news of the death of our mom, Irene Mary Blank nee Coughlin, February 6, 2020.
She was predeceased by her husband Eugene, of 63 years, the love of her life and baby daughter Patricia. As well as her mother, father, and all of her brothers and sisters.
Her children, family and friends are left to mourn this loss: Ray (predeceased Bev) - Patrick (Teresa) - Zachary, Everett, Treyton, Madisyn; Clifford (Jerry); Mark (Allison), Nathan, Adam, Sarah. Suzanne (Kris) – Graham (Heather), Colin, Rebecca. Mary-Jane (Randy) - Megan (Franco), Aileen. Darlene (Roger) - Kirstyn, Hannah, Josiah. Joanne - a special niece and friend as well as her Goddaughter Cecelia, and many nieces, nephews across Canada.
Mom was a deeply religious woman, who found that her faith gave her tremendous strength in her life. She embraced life’s many blessings especially her love for her husband, children and family. Most conversations would start “...how are you...” and then ask about our partners and grandchildren. She was always interested in what was happening in our lives. When something caught her attention she would exclaim “Oh mercy!” Her faith also gave her consolation in dealing with life’s many challenges, especially the death of our dad, and sister Patricia.
I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, I have kept the faith. 2 Timothy 4:7
Mom spent her youth in the Eganville area. She moved to Toronto at age 16 and worked at assorted jobs including two war factories folding parachutes and riveting airplanes. She met our father in Toronto, and they were married on her 19th birthday . She didn’t work outside the home until our teen years. During our early and teen years mom packed up and set up numerous homes, often alone while our father (career armed forces) found a new place for us to live in a strange city or country. It was a great joy and pride when they bought a house and settled permanently in Winnipeg.
Mom made a point of hearing or reading the news, and always knew what was happening locally and in the world. She was not shy in giving her opinion and thoughts. She also loved going for Sunday car trips with our young family and later with our dad, then going out for lunch or supper.
An important part of mom's daily attire was her apron. One of the first things she did after getting dressed in the morning was put on her apron. You rarely ever saw her without one when at home.
Mom liked to make her own bread. She never measured out the ingredients, but always said, "You mix it until it feels right.” Mom’s homemade bread was something we only truly appreciated when we became adults. We shared this activity with her in later years. However, our bread never turned out as good as hers did.
She also enjoyed revealing sweepstake tickets and bingo (had many sweats). She rarely missed mass and rosary on TV when she was no longer able to go to church herself. In the last year, Ray never missed taking mom to church on Sunday, and then they joined a few parishioners for brunch at Tim Hortons.
When someone asked her what is the secret to living a long life she said with a smile “...a beer a day.” When she was on the palliative care unit Dr. Crawford promised to write a doctor’s order for beer. She would say “...let’s have a beer and she sipped a small amount of beer through a straw and said, “Oh that’s good!”
Leaving her home was emotionally painful for her and us. She took pride in her meticulous home and yard. She spent only a short time at Brightwater Retirement Home. We thank the staff who always showed her respect and good care.
Over the last few years, we saw many aspects of the health care system. We would especially like to thank her physician of many years Dr. Olson; Victoria emergency; River Heights home care staff; TAVI team; Deer Lodge rehab unit; Grace emergency, medical unit; St. Boniface emergency, cardiac and medical floors, and finally Palliative care unit: Dr. Crawford, Dr. Mani, Dr. Volpe, fantastic care team and spiritual care chaplains that showed mom (and us) compassion and thoughtful care. Mom always had a smile for those she met, a sense of humour and always made a point of saying “thank you.”
It is hard to express in a few short words, but those who knew mom knew she was a beautiful person inside and out.
“Remember that when you leave this earth, you can take with you nothing that have received--only what you have given.” ― Francis of Assisi
Our Mom gave and showed us unconditional love. For this, she will be deeply missed.
Funeral services will be held on Thursday, February 20, 2020 at 11:00 am at St. John Brebeuf Church, 1707 John Brebeuf Place, with reception to follow.
We would like to thank our families for their loving support and for holding the fort and our friends for their thoughtfulness during this time.
In lieu of flowers, donations can be made to the St. Boniface Hospital Foundation for TAVI Research Team or the Palliative Care Unit.
St. Boniface Hospital Foundation
C1026-409 Tache Avenue, Winnipeg, MB R2H 2A6
- Online Donations
St. John Brebeuf Church
1707 John Brebeuf Place
Irene Mary Blank
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February 17, 2020
Dear Susanne,Ray,MaryJane,and Darlene
So sorry to hear of Aunt Irene's passing,
She was so very special to me not only my Aunt but my Godmother. I will always remember ,how they were both so thoughtful to me ,on my birthdays ,and all my special celebrations
We always looked forward to there trips passing through on their way to visit Gramma Coughlin and your Dad's family .Iwill miss her phone calls we had,I'm sorry I can't be there for her celebration of her life,but know I'll be there in my thoughts and Prayers
Take Good care
much love to you all.🌹💖
Cecelia Randy Jackie &Glen
February 17, 2020
Sending deepest sympathy to Ray, Suzanne, Mary Jane and Darlene and family. Hugs !!!
February 17, 2020
We would like to express our deepest sympathy to Ray, Susanne, Mary Jane , Darlene & their spouses.
February 13, 2020
Thank you, Grandma, for all the phone calls about nothing. The content didn’t matter, but the time shared was priceless.
Say “Hi” to Mom and Grandpa.
February 12, 2020
The heart that your mother had for others is a rare gift to the many people who had the privilege to know her and be blessed by her. Please accept my condolences.
I have fond memories of meeting at your childhood home after horseback riding and your Mom was there. She always greeted us with a big smile, tea and “It is the barn girls back”. My Mom and Irene shared many wonderful conversations and laughter at the family occasions.