Irene M. "Babe" Phillips died Monday, Aug. 30, 2004, at Happy Siesta Health Care Center in Remsen after a brief illness.
Irene was born March 27, 1918, in rural Le Mars, the daughter of Hubert and Margaret (Meis) Kemp. She was raised in the Le Mars area and received her education at St. Joseph's Catholic School in Le Mars from which she graduated in 1936. She then cleaned homes in the Le Mars area and worked at the JCPenney Store in Le Mars.
On May 1, 1946, she married Wendell Phillips at Le Mars. They made their home in Remsen where they operated Shaaf's Hardware business until its closing in 1985. Wendell died March 11, 1977.
Irene had been a resident of the Happy Siesta Health Care Center since Oct. 17, 2003. She loved playing cards with her friends and enjoyed her family around her.
She was a member of St. Mary's Catholic Church, the church Guild and the Catholic Daughters of America.
Survivors include two sons, Tom and his friend Mary Nolting, both of Cedar Falls, Todd and his wife Sherrie of Centennial, Colo.; one daughter, Vickie and her husband Robert Groepper of Remsen; eighth grandchildren; five great-grandchildren; one sister, Leone and her husband Ben Ruhland of Le Mars; and numerous nieces and nephews.
Irene was preceded in death by four sisters, Angeline Koopman, Josephine Holzman, Frances Kellen and Celeste Sharrer; and two brothers, Joe and Al Kemp.
Funeral services will be at 10:30 a.m. Thursday at St. Mary's Catholic Church in Remsen, with the Rev. Timothy Johnson officiating. Burial will follow in St. Mary's Cemetery in Remsen. The Fisch Funeral Home of Remsen is in charge of arrangements.
Friends may call any time after 2 p.m. Wednesday. There will be a rosary at 3 p.m. by St. Mary's Guild and the Catholic Daughters of America and a vigil prayer service at 7:30 p.m., all at the funeral home.
Casket bearers will be her grandchildren, Ryan, Shannon and Stacey Groepper, Amy Harnack, Austin, Chad, Cory and Marisa Phillips.