Irene Julia (McBride) GishApril 5, 1925 ~ August 10, 2017 (age 92)
Irene Julia Gish was born on April, 5th, 1925 in Calgary, Alberta and died on August 10th, 2017 at the Willow Creek Continuing Care Centre in Claresholm, Alberta. Irene was a generous daughter, loving wife, proud mother, supportive mother-in-law, extraordinary grandmother, loyal friend, and impassioned animal lover. She was an adventurist and inspiration to others.
Irene’s life began on a small farm near Michichi where she was raised by her parents Elizabeth and Frank McBride. On the farm Irene developed a deep love of animals which evolved into caring for many cats and dogs throughout her lifetime.
As a young adult, Irene attended the University of Alberta where she received her Bachelors of Education and met her future husband, Harold Gish, at a Sadie Hawkins dance. Their courtship lasted three years before marrying and settling in Nanton in 1952 where they both taught at the local schoolhouse before their sons, George and Gerald, were born. Irene saw it as important to expose her sons to new experiences such as boating, swimming, piano, drumming, and dance. As children, they learned that the world was theirs to discover and explore because this is how she lived life herself.
One of Irene’s greatest pleasures was her relationships with Jessie and Dan, George’s children. Irene was an ever-present companion through their childhood and adulthood. She was entertaining, loved without judgment, and supportive of their interests and ambitions. Her heart was always ‘safe’ and ‘comforting’.
Irene’s infectious smile, ‘zest for life’, and warm heart will be missed dearly. She is survived by sons George (Lenore) and Gerald, grandchildren Dan (Melissa), Jessie (Jeremy), and three great-grandchildren (Toryn, Xander, and Jonas).
The family wishes to thank the staff at the Willow Creek Auxiliary and Carma Ulrich for the tender care provided to ‘Mama Gish’ over the last few years and who rallied in our time of crisis. A gathering in her honour will be held at a later date. If friends so desire, memorial tributes in Irene’s memory may be made to the Calgary Humane Society, 4455 – 110 Avenue, Calgary, Alberta T2C 2T7 or www.calgaryhumane.ca
Calgary Humane Society
4455 - 110 Avenue S.E., Calgary AB T2C 2T7