Irene Gingrich (Crittenden) 1926-2019
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Irene Gingrich (Crittenden) passed away on May 1, 2019 at the age of 92 in Imperial, SK, surrounded by her family that she loved so dearly. She was born on a farm near Watrous, SK, the sixth of seven children to Levi & Martha Habermehl. She was predeceased by siblings, Bill, Edith, Gordon, Flossie, Cliff, & Della.
She always loved learning and was the only member of her family to go onto secondary education. She became a schoolteacher where she taught in many one-room schoolhouses in Alberta & Saskatchewan. It was through her teaching that she met and married Ralph Crittenden in 1952 and raised five children west of Imperial, SK. She loved her life on the farm where everything was homegrown, hand-made, and nothing ever wasted. Mom lost the love of her life Ralph in 1981 and she moved into town shortly thereafter. In 1988 she married Earl Gingrich and they spent many enjoyable years traveling and going on adventures together. Earl passed away in 2004.
Mom’s whole life was dedicated to her family, always making their favorite meals and desserts. She welcomed everyone at her table and was happiest when she could cook a meal for her ‘boys’. She spent many hours at her sewing machine mending clothes, sewing outfits, aprons, and making quilts, all of which she shared generously. Mom was a longtime member of the UCW (United Church Women) and taught Sunday school for over 25 years. She was an avid supporter of her children’s music & sports. She drove many miles and spent countless hours attending festivals, concerts & sporting events, which continued on for generations.
Mom was a gifted writer, creating poems for many celebrations, and could easily recite poetry from her elementary school days. Not long ago her doctor shared with us that ‘she still had all her marbles, even the colored ones’! She was an avid Jeopardy fan and crossword solver. Once a teacher, always a teacher, she often would tutor others and continually corrected us kids when we misspoke. (Mom we apologize for any grammatical errors!).
Mom never stopped working even after she ‘retired’ to town. She kept gardening at the farm and continued to harvest vegetables, fruits, made jam, canned beef, and baked those infamous pies, past the age of 90. Her garden was also full of hundreds of gladiolas, which she planted and generously shared with everyone.
Mom always encouraged us to ‘count our blessings’ and she was undeniably a blessing to all of us. She will be lovingly missed by Gordon (Shirley), Howard (Sharon), Joan, Joyce & Jill; 10 grandchildren, Jim (Kari) Crittenden, Grant (Lindsay) Crittenden, Alan (Megan) Mang, Megan (Trent) Crawford, Mark (Kendra) Mang, Kirbie (Preston) Mosewich, Justine Crittenden (Tayler), Amy Abday (Cody), Spencer Crittenden and Jody Abday; and 10 great grandchildren, Paige, Haley & Larissa Crittenden, Rylan & Reid Crittenden, Addison Mang, Rhett Crawford, Lyla & Griffin Mang, and Wyatt Mosewich.
Our family is so appreciative of the exceptional care she received from all the staff during her last few weeks in Imperial palliative care. If you so wish, we would like to honor her memory with donations made to support our local facilities:
LLV (Health Care Auxiliary)
c/o Box 114
Imperial, SK S0G 2J0
Imperial & District Ambulance
Imperial, SK S0G 2J0
The funeral service will be held at the Imperial Community Center in Imperial, SK on Monday, May 6th at 2 pm.