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Irene

Irene J. Surdyk

Irene, Mom, or G-ma as she was known to be called, was born in Chicago, IL on May 27, 1921. She left us peacefully on December 16, 2022. There’s not a chance in the world that her life, loves, passions, and accomplishments can be wrapped up in a few sentences, or even a book. Instead, Google what’s happened in the last 101 and a half years. Read about the history, the presidents, the inventions, the sports, the changes in our world; and she had a little bit to say about it all. She liked to tell the stories how she worked with her father delivering milk in the snow in Chicago, on his horse-drawn milk-truck. That same year, the Empire State Building opened and the Star-Spangled Banner became our National Anthem. She was 10. She saw our world change with civil rights, women’s rights, World War II, color tv, sliced bread, aerosol spray, anesthesia, sunglasses, the ball-point pen, the moon landing, the post-it, the blender, the pop-up toaster, the chainsaw, printer, microwave, remote control, and endless versions of the phone! She danced away to an endless list of music that went from radio to records to 8-tracks, cassettes, CD’s, back to records, then somehow, right from a phone. Movies were released with sound when she was five, and in 3-strip technicolor when she was 14. From then on, she’d watch any musical you’d put in front of her – The Sound of Music being her all-time favorite. Irene saw Jackie Robinson break the barrier in baseball; saw baseball move to night games with outdoor lighting; and played baseball in a women’s leagues during WWII. She loved her bowling leagues, she loved the big horse races during the year, never missing the Kentucky Derby; she loved her beer during sports, she loved being outdoors gardening or even just watching a nice sunset. She knew the neighbors on every street she lived on and didn’t pass up a chance to volunteer whenever needed. She loved her DBacks and her Suns and took in as many live games as possible. The one thing that always surpassed her love for sports though, was her deep Catholic faith. She relied on it daily. But what rose above it all – above all the history she saw; beyond her deep love for sports; beyond her love for her husband John (who preceded her to heaven in 1993), and her love and great friendship with their daughter; was her love for her granddaughters, Katie and Kellie. They were her world and she’ll watch over them and be with them always. She left a door-ding on our heart that’s a loving, cherished part of us now. Irene even wrote a note that said her secret to it all was to be kind to others, optimistic even when times are tough, and to always have faith. Irene is survived by her daughter and best friend, Anett; her adoring granddaughters Katie Rowe and Kellie Rowe; and her favorite son-in-law, Stephen. Na Zdrowie! Irene (cheers in Polish). We know it was a beautiful life and you were a beautiful role model, friend, and partner who left us with precious, unforgettable memories.

On Thursday, December 22, 2022 a visitation from 5:00 p.m. – 7:00 p.m. with rosary prayers to be recited at 6:00 p.m. at Whitney & Murphy Funeral Home, 4800 E. Indian School Road, Phoenix. On Thursday, December 29, 2022 at 10:30 a.m. a Mass will be celebrated at St. Theresa Catholic Church, 5045 E. Thomas Road, Phoenix. Burial will take place at 12:30 p.m. at the National Memorial Cemetery of Arizona, 23029 N. Cave Creek Road, Phoenix. Condolences may be expressed at www.whitneymurphyfuneralhome.com.
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