In 1956 Irene, her husband and two young boys, ages 3 and 1 ½ years old, decided to come to Canada. They escaped from the communist country formerly known as the Republic of Yugoslavia with less than 5 dollars in their pockets. In the middle of the night they crossed the border into Austria, where they were detained for a month, so the Austrian authorities could verify they did not commit any crimes. The authorities eventually placed them on a cruise liner and landed in Canada. All they knew was farming, and an owner of a farm in Briarlea, sponsored them for two years. They eventually moved to Prince Albert.
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Irene got a job at the Post Office Café, serving coffee and washing dishes, for a number of years. She then received a job at the Sheraton Marlboro hotel as a chamber maid, eventually becoming head chamber maid, for 44 years prior to retirement. At a banquet in Regina, she was recognized as employee of the year for her years of service at the hotel (15 minutes of fame).
Irene enjoyed gardening. She grew all types of vegetables, and you would see her spend countless hours weeding and thinning her garden, so you would have fresh products. In the fall she would do lots of canning for her family.
Irene was a firecracker, always ready to party with everyone, co-workers, family, and her grandkids. She will always be remembered for her Yugoslavia songs and dance moves. She was one of a kind and will be missed dearly.
Irene was predeceased by her husband: Geza. She is survived by her two sons: Milan, Laurie (nee Turner) and Stan, Bev (nee Child); five grandchildren: Devon, Brett, Lacey, Andrew and Alysia; 13 great-grandchildren; sister: Emma Growzinski; and her brother: Karel Kuzmic. She will be missed by all.
In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to the SPCA. https://princealbertspca.ca/donate/ . Arrangements in care of MacKenzie Chapel & Crematorium Brian and Bev Stobbs, Mervin Oleksyn, Renée Phaneuf – Funeral Directors. www.MacKenzieChapel.ca . 306.763.8488.