Irene Ruth (Walsh) Ahearn of Phoenix, Arizona passed away Wednesday morning, February 6, 2019 at the age of 93.
A very loved and loving mother of six, grandmother and great-grandmother, and resident of Arizona for 70 years, Irene maintained the order of an active and often challenging household for decades. The years that followed saw her grow into a woman of many interests. She was great fun and happy and a joy to be around always.
Irene was born on November 19, 1925 in Keene, New Hampshire where she earned her nursing degree in 1944. She joined a dear childhood friend moving west after World War II. While working at the Arizona State University infirmary Irene met her future husband John. They were married in 1955, lived briefly in Tucson while in graduate school at UofA, and moved permanently to Phoenix in the late ’50’s. In addition to decades of unrelenting family-raising, she found time to pursue her many and varied personal interests. She was an active and principal member of the St. Francis Xavier church choir for over fifty years, loved music generally and was a quite accomplished piano player. She bowled in leagues from the early ’60’s and continued bowling past her 90th birthday.
Irene enjoyed volunteerism, contributing herself to the community in various ways as an ESL and literacy coach, a Hospice caregiver and longtime volunteer at the Interfaith Cooperative Ministries’ food and clothing bank. She enjoyed travel, studying science, ancient and biblical history, and found profound joy in nature. She was a successful raiser of de-nested baby birds, a famous tolerator of her children’s other unusual and less-lovable pets and a serious, even fierce player of card and board games. Most importantly, she loved and cared for others well.
Ever positive and encouraging, Irene always asked how your day was going, and wanted to help with anything in any way she could. She let every family member, friend or caregiver know how grateful she was to see them. She loved her family deeply.
She will be very greatly missed, and is survived by her daughters Mary, Denise and Kathleen; sons Stephen, John and Michael, and their husbands and wives, children and grandchildren.
A Memorial service will be held at 11:00 AM Saturday, February 16, 2019 at Hansen Chapel, 8314 N. 7th St., Phoenix 85020. Visit https://www.hansenmortuary.com for condolences.Print Obituary & Condolences