Irene was born November 27, 1920 in Katanning, Western Australia to Gertrude and Tom Skeggs. She met Charles J. Milder from West Branch, Iowa, in 1943 in Perth, Western Australia while he was serving the US Navy at the Freemantle Submarine base in Australia. They were married February 28, 1945 in Australia. Irene came to America in spring, 1946 on a war-bride ship. They lived on farms in the West Branch/ Tipton, Iowa area. Irene started teaching first in a one-room school house while Charles farmed. They moved to Ottumwa, Iowa in 1964 where they both taught in the public school system until they retired. The couple traveled the US and the world with an emphasis on Argentina and Australia. Charles died November 30, 1998. Irene continued to travel after the death of her husband. In January, 2001 she was blessed to meet Charles O. Smith at an Elderhostel in Switzerland, FL. As they traveled together a great love developed and they were married November 10, 2007, both 87 at the time, in St Francis Solanus Church in Quincy, Illinois, in a ceremony planned by her daughters and attended by Charlie’s seven children. The newly married couple lived in Newark, Missouri, and at Delray Beach, Florida, and continued to travel the world together. For a time, Irene was a columnist of Newark News for The Edina Sentinel.
Irene is survived by her husband, Charles O. Smith of Delray Beach, Florida, and her five daughters Meg (Kenny) Glover of Newark, Missouri, Nancy (John) Venegoni of Quincy, Illinois, Teresa (Oscar) Bassi of Mendoza, Argentina, Julie Curry of Des Moines, Iowa and Helen (Bob) Peterson of Newark, Missouri.
She is also survived by seven step-children, Mary Jo Smith of Detroit, Michigan, C. Michael Smith of Cordova, Alaska, John P. Smith of Southfield, Michigan, Susan Gutowski of Omaha, Nebraska, Peter G. Smith of Eugene, Oregon, Robert A. Smith of Cordova, Alaska and Katherine Mc Kay of Carson City, Nevada.
Grandchildren include Charles (Carrissa) Glover, Michael and Mark Venegoni, Jeanine Curley, Gabi Rodriguez, Javier and Diego Bassi, Kelly Peterson and Leslie Irons. Irene is also survived by eight great grandchildren Liam Glover, Lauren, Gabrielle and Julia Aiello, Jordan and Jessica Venegoni and a multitude of family and friends from around the world; a brother, Ron Skeggs, two nephews, Brad and Stuart Skeggs and a niece, Peta Nolan, all of Australia; in addition many in-laws, nieces and nephews of the United States.
A memorial service was held Monday, March 16, at Abbey Delray South, Delray Beach, FL.
Services will be held later in Missouri with internment in Nichols, Iowa. Memorials may be made to Liam Glover Educational Fund c/o Meg Glover, P.O. Box 16, Newark, MO 63458 or left with the family at the memorial service.