Irene M. Phares, age 93, of Storm Lake, passed away July 14, 2011 at the Buena Vista Manor in Storm Lake.
A private family graveside service will be held Thursday, July 21, at the Central City Cemetery in Central City, Neb. A Celebration of Life and fellowship will be held at the Presbyterian Church in Central City on Thursday following the graveside service. In lieu of flowers a memorial fund has been established in Irene's name at the United Methodist Church in Storm Lake. The Fratzke & Jensen Funeral Home in Storm Lake along with the Wagner Funeral Home in Central City are in charge of the arrangements.
Irene M. McHargue was born Nov. 16, 1917, the 5th child of Sol and Lucy Bell (Jones) McHargue in Central City, Neb. where she was raised, attended school, and graduated from high school. She later attained her Registered Nursing degree from Clarkson Hospital in Omaha, Neb.
On Feb. 1, 1940, Irene was united in marriage to Charles H. Phares. To this union four children were born: Gwynn, Doug, Bob, and Kurt. Moving from Omaha for Charles to join Walter R. Raecke in his law practice, they made Central City their home where they raised their children, enjoyed their extended family of both sets of parents, Irene's siblings and their families, participated actively in the Presbyterian Church, and community.
Upon retirement, they moved to Estes Park, Colo. where they enjoyed the mountain environment and all the activities offered there. Losing Charles, her husband of 50 years, in February of 1990, Irene remained in Estes Park until moving to Storm Lake in August of 2000 to be near her daughter, Gwynn. She resided at Lake Pointe Villa, independent living facility, Otsego Place, assisted living, and Buena Vista Manor. Dementia stole her memory while her physical body remained strong.
A wonderful caretaker personality, Irene was a devoted wife to Charles and an exemplary mother always reaching out to help her extend family and many friends. Having the entire family, children and grandchildren, together was her greatest joy. She exhibited a very happy personality and made light of what wasn't important and showered love on those who were close to her touching lives in the warmest of ways.
Irene was an accomplished seamstress, cook, bridge player and loved entertaining, traveling, or pitching in to help on any project. She belonged to Eastern Star, PEO, and was an active participant in the Central City Presbyterian Church, later joining the Methodist Church in Storm Lake.
Those left to cherish her memory include her daughter, Gwynn (Duane) Gerlach of Storm Lake; sons: Douglas (Barbara) Phares of Scottsdale, Ariz.; Robert (Laurie) Phares of Fremont, Neb.; and Kurt (Janis) Phares of Irvine, Calif.; nine grandchildren; six great grandchildren; other relatives and friends.
Irene was preceded in death by her parents, Sol and Lucy McHargue; husband, Charles; sister, Elsie (Les) Lock; and brothers: Oscar, Donald, and Walter McHargue.