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Friday, Apr. 29, 2016

Irene M. Brunken

Thursday, August 28, 2003

Irene M. Brunken, 82, of Le Mars died Saturday, Aug. 23, 2003, at the Brentwood Good Samaritan Center in Le Mars.

Irene Martha Heien was born Oct. 8, 1920, on the family farm in Preston Township to Otto and Louise (Baack) Heien. Irene was baptized Nov. 7, 1920, and confirmed March 25, 1934, at St. John Lutheran Church, Craig.

She attended country school at Washington Township #7, near Ireton.

Irene married Clarence Brunken on Sept. 25, 1941, at St. John's Lutheran Church in Le Mars. Irene and Clarence farmed southeast of Le Mars until 1965 when they moved to Le Mars and began their second career, building homes. Irene and Clarence built over 40 homes in Le Mars, with Irene doing much of the interior painting and woodwork. She had also worked for Bartel Floral and the former Hobby House.

Irene and Clarence enjoyed dancing and playing cards. She also enjoyed crocheting and needlework.

She was a longtime member of St. John's Lutheran Church in Le Mars. 

Survivors include two daughters and sons-in-law, Dianne and Melvin Baack of Le Mars and Donna and Don Kniffen of Lennox, S.D.; three brothers, Lyle Heien, Elmer and Mary Heien, and Kenneth and Inez Heien, all of Le Mars; five grandchildren, Carolyn Baack, Brad Baack and his wife Kim, Laura Donohue, Mitch Kniffen and his wife Eldri, and Tom Kniffen and his wife Liz; six great-grandchildren, Kailey and Kelly Prince, Zach and Ryan Baack, and Erin and Nick Donohue; two sisters-in-law, Esther and Ray Renken and Betty Brunken; and several nieces and nephews.

Irene was preceded in death by her parents, Otto and Louise Heien; her husband Clarence on June 2, 1996; and a sister Elsie Zenk.

Funeral services will be at 10:30 a.m. Friday at St. John's Lutheran Church, E.L.C.A., Le Mars, with the Rev. Gary Landsness officiating. Interment will be in Resthaven Memory Gardens Cemetery. Visitation will be after 3 p.m. Thursday at the Carlsen Funeral Home, Le Mars, with a 7 p.m. prayer service Thursday evening at the funeral home.

Pallbearers will be Russell Schmidt, Mark Schmidt, Randall Brunken, Dennis Renken, David Renken, Jim Brownmiller, Gary Schmidt, and Wayne Heien.

© 2016 Le Mars Daily Sentinel