Irene Collins, 89, of Le Mars, died suddenly Monday, July 26, 2004, at Park Place Estates in Le Mars.
Irene St. Clair Short was born Oct. 17, 1914, at Volin, S.D., the daughter of William M. and Florence (MaCabe) Short. Irene was raised by her father and grandmother in Struble. She graduated from Le Mars Central High School.
Irene was united in marriage to Emory Collins on Aug. 15, 1934, at Hudson, Wis. Her husband, Emory, was a nationally-known sprint car driver. The couple traveled extensively throughout the United States on the various dirt track circuits. During these years, Irene was known as the "grand old lady of racing," keeping the stats for Emory.
Irene enjoyed traveling throughout her life. She had enjoyed spending the summers at their cabin on the Minnesota and Canadian border at Lake Kabetogama. In later years, Irene enjoyed taking bus tours. For the last three years, she had made her home at Park Place Estates.
Survivors include a stepdaughter and her husband, Janet and Charles Elligson of North Carolina, and many cousins.
She was preceded in death by her husband, Emory; her parents and a sister, Dorothy.
Funeral services will be at 10:30 a.m. Thursday at the First Baptist Church in Le Mars with the Rev. Jon Meredith officiating. Burial will be in Memorial Cemetery in Le Mars. Visitation will be after 5 p.m. Wednesday at the Carlsen Funeral Home in Le Mars, with the family present to greet friends after 6 p.m. and a prayer service at 7 p.m.
Memorials may be directed to the Plymouth County Historical Museum or First Baptist Church in Le Mars.