Irene G. Newkirk, 86, of Sturgeon Bay, passed away peacefully Monday evening, December 31, 2012, in the comfort of her home with family at her side.
She was born September 28, 1926 in International Falls, Minnesota the daughter of the late Philip and Nora LaFrenier. Following high school Irene graduated with her Nursing degree from St. Paul Nursing School. Irene moved to Chicago for nursing employment and soon after met her husband John Newkirk. They were married on May 23, 1958 in Chicago, Illinois. She assisted in his manufacturer sales representative business. They spent many years in Door County at their home on North Bay where they eventually retired in 1969. John preceded her in death in 1981.
Irene played a key role in the development of the Bargains Unlimited resale store and chapel/multipurpose room at Good Samaritan Scandia Village in Sister Bay. She was an active member of the Sturgeon Bay Rotary Club, and familiar, loyal volunteer at Scandia Village.
Later she became the loving companion of William Fairfield and was instrumental in helping fulfill his dream of creating the Fairfield Museum showcasing the artwork of Henry Moore.
Irene was many things in life: wife, grandmother, great-grandmother, business woman, community service activist, promoter of the arts and good friend to many. She approached all of these roles with unforgettable character and style, vision, persistence and power of persuasion.
Survivors include her son, Peter Newkirk of Illinois; one daughter, Bonnie Newkirk of Crystal Lake, Illinois; seven grandchildren, Robert (Kristine) (and their children, Haley, Marie, James, and Benjamin) of Evergreen, CO, Amy Murray (her children, Nicholas and Jordan) of Michigan, Seth Vogt, Ingrid Vogt both of Illinois, Julia (Glen) Des Roches of Arlington Heights, Illinois, John Reed (Christine) Newkirk of Princeton, NJ, and Peter H. (Cindy) (and their children Anna, Bill, and Michael); one great-granddaughter, Emily Murray; and daughter-in-law, Martha Newkirk of Baileys Harbor.
Preceding her in death were her husband, John, and son, John Mehl Newkirk (2003).
A memorial service will be held in early summer of 2013.
In lieu of flowers, memorial donations may be made to the Good Samaritan Scandia Village-building fund drive.
Huehns Funeral Home is assisting the Newkirk family with arrangements.
Sign online guestbook and offer condolences at http://www.huehnsfuneralhome.com/.