Irene Stark (nee Cooling) of Mossbank passed away on Friday, May 3, 2024 at the age of 82 after a lengthy battle with cancer.

She was born on December 27, 1941 in the Witchekan District, near Leoville, Saskatchewan to Lucy & George Cooling.  She was the fourth of five children – Myrtle, Albert, Lorne and later Brenda.  She moved to Mossbank where she attended school.  She lived in the Nurse’s Residence with her Mom and sister Brenda, while her mother worked as a cook at the Hospital.  They then moved to the house where Gramma Hutchinson lived.

She met Werner at a house party and were married soon after on August 8, 1959 at the Central Lutheran Church in Moose Jaw.  They moved to the farm and lived in the “Honeymoon Shack” until Werner built a new house for their growing family.

They were blessed with three children – Kevin, Dale and Lisa.

Irene was very well known for her sense of humour.  For example, when she was in the hospital a couple weeks ago, the nurse came to check her blood sugar.  She said, “Are you here to poke me again?”  The nurse said, “Yes, which finger would you like to give me?”  Irene quickly replied, “Guess!”

Irene had many passions that enhanced her life.  She always had a large vegetable garden and enjoyed many flower gardens.  She sewed clothes for the family, knitted, crocheted and enjoyed quilting.  Irene was an avid curler and usually curled locally with Joyce Stark, Erna Woit and Adeline Lizee.  She often went into provincial playdowns with Pat Potts, Gwen Kowalski and Vivian Bath. 

Irene was active in the church and the Lutheran Ladies Group.  She was the Church Council Secretary until January of this year.

She was a hard-working farm wife.  She baked the best bread and we didn’t even know what Town Bread tasted like.  She cooked many field meals and filled in wherever help was needed on the farm– from raising chickens, turkeys and very mean geese, building bins, pouring concrete, filling diskers, driving truck during harvest or whatever was going on at the time.  She was very happy when the boys got big enough to drive truck at harvest so she didn’t have to get in trouble all the time.  She apparently never had the truck in the right place. 

They moved off the farm to Mossbank in 1984 to a new house that Werner built.  They later moved into the Furrows and Faith Retirement Villa in the spring of 2023.

Family was everything to Irene.  Kevin married Denise and they have two sons, Clay (Taylor) and Cole (Mercedes). 

Dale married Merilee and they have two children; Daniel (Colleen) and their children Brody, Tessa and Calder; Brittany (Dillon) and their children Mya and Rylan.

Lisa married Mike and they have two children Lane (Chaydin) and their children Wells and Bowen.  Shelby (Clint) and their son Rudy.

She put on many miles driving kids to swimming lessons, ball games and anything else they were involved in.  Later when the grandchildren arrived she loved being with them and watching all their sports and activities.  She loved having them around to help bake bread, play games and dig worms in the garden.  The Great Grandchildren brought even more joy.  She enjoyed watching their activities and just cuddling and visiting with them.

There were many large family gatherings but most notably in the Christmas season.  Christmas Eve was always a special time when the family went to the Candlelight Service and then came back to Gramma’s to open presents.  Her birthday was on December 27 and that day was almost like another Christmas – Turkey dinner and lots of family fun.

Irene is survived by her loving family: husband of 64 years, Werner Stark; son Kevin (Denise) Stark; grandson Clay (Taylor) Stark; grandson Cole Stark (Mercedes); son Dale (Merilee) Stark; grandson Daniel (Colleen) Stark; great-grandchildren Brody, Tessa, and Calder; granddaughter Brittany (Dillon) Hauck; great-grandchildren Mya and Rylan; daughter Lisa (Mike) Hodnefield; grandson Lane (Chaydin) Hodnefield; great-grandchildren Wells and Bowen; granddaughter Shelby (Clint) Olson; great-grandson Rudy; sister Brenda (Leo) Crossland; sisters-in-law Evelyn Cooling and Edna Stark. Irene was predeceased by her mother Lucy (nee Hutchinson) Cooling and father George Cooling, parents-in-law Rudolf and Pauline Stark, sister Myrtle (Glen) Moore, brothers Albert Cooling and Lorne Cooling, brothers-in-law Rudy (Skip) Stark, Harry (Joyce) Stark and Norman Stark.

A Lutheran Funeral Service will be held on Friday, May 10, 2024, at 2:00 P.M. at Cornerstone Gospel Church in Mossbank, Saskatchewan. Private family interment will follow at Mossbank Cemetery. Memorial donations in Irene’s memory can be given to the Furrows and Faith Retirement Cooperative Ltd., Box 129 Mossbank, SK  S0H 3G01.