Irene Gentz (Marion)
Irene Alice Gentz (Marion), 88, of Pleasant Prairie, WI, passed away on Monday, April 9, 2018, at Froedtert South-St. Catherine’s Medical Center Campus attended by loving family.
Irene was born December 4, 1929, in Wabeno, WI, to the late Helen (Peterson) and Louis Zellon Marion. She was the granddaughter of Swedish immigrants and a decedent of Revolutionary War Marions. She was a member of the Presbyterian Church and graduated from Wabeno High School in 1947. She worked as a mother’s helper, an usher in the local movie theatre and as a telephone operator in Wabeno. There she met and married Phillip J. Gentz. They settled in Kenosha, WI, where he worked at Nash Motors and AMC and together raised four children. She was a homemaker in every sense of the word. By 1960 she had helped her husband build their own house in Pleasant Prairie where they could pursue a country life. She became skilled at needlework and baking and stocked the home with many homemade goods. Always active in her children’s activities she volunteered in schools, scouts and 4H, and she helped establish the library in Pleasant Prairie Grade School. There were always books in the home and trips to the Kenosha Public Library as she was an avid reader. She attended the Kenosha Vocational School to earn a certificate in Bookkeeping and Typing. She had a love of music from Big Bands, Irish ballads, to Alan Jackson and Abba and taught herself to play the organ. In later years she worked as a hospital volunteer at Aurora Hospital.
In her leisure she enjoyed playing cards, Scrabble, crossword puzzles and computer games. With her sharp memory and wide range of knowledge she could have been a winner on “Jeopardy.” She traveled the country with her husband on road trips to visit family and attend many of his Air Corps reunions. They went camping in Northern Wisconsin and her love of nature and willing spirit made her well suited to Phil’s outdoor interests. Her honest sweet nature was a positive force in family life for 70 years. She was able to remain in her home with him until his recent death in February and her own respiratory illness took her from us.
She is survived by her children, Nancy (Mike) Wood of California, Colleen Vernon, Patricia (Chuck) Aker, and David (Patsy R.) Gentz, all of Kenosha, and; three grandchildren, Jennifer Neeley, Korie Rumph, and Zak Wood; seven great-grandchildren, Bridgette, Natalie, Sophia, Sawyer, Ellsa, Avah and Zane; two sisters-in-law, Irene Marion and Germaine Peterson, both of Green Bay; and many nieces and nephews.
She was preceded in death by her husband, Phil; a sister, Lorraine (Don) Cannon; and two brothers, Louis Marion and Herbert Peterson.
Irene’s family wish to thank the many friends and fine neighbors who supported them over the years and especially want to express our heartfelt gratitude to our special friend Patsy Rieschl who helped their children care for her and Phil in their home the past several years. Great appreciation also goes out to Kenosha Visiting Nurses, the staff at Home Inspired Senior Living and the doctors and ICU staff at St. Catherine’s Medical Center.
Visitation will be held on Saturday, April 21st, at Proko Funeral Home from 12:00 noon until 2:30 p.m. In lieu of flowers or gifts, please make a donation in Irene’s honor to the Kenosha Public Library Foundation or another charity of your choice. http://bit.ly/IreneGentzMemorial
Proko Funeral Home & Crematory
Kenosha, WI 53144
Phone: (262) 654-3533
Visit & Sign Irene’s Online Memorial Book at: