July 23, 1956 – December 1, 2019
It is with a profound sense of loss that we observe the passing of our beautiful mother, wife, sister, aunt, baba, and dear friend Irene. Irene Ann Forster (Bonchuk) was born in Rossburn, Manitoba on July 23, 1956 to John and Ann Bonchuk. They arrived in Rossburn after relocating from a small farm nearby, and from a young age Irene enjoyed being outdoors, playing volleyball, curling and attending school. Irene graduated from High School in 1975 and moved to Brandon to spread her wings. It didn’t take long for her free-spirited, quick-witted, beautiful and loving self to capture the heart of Blair, whom she married on May 22, 1976.
Their first years of marriage were spent in Sprague, Lac Du Bonnet, and Gypsumville, Manitoba where Irene’s new challenges in life included working in support roles with Blair’s position in the RCMP, as a bookkeeper and welcoming their two children, Myles John Forster (1978) and Kahlie Sarah Ann Forster (1982). The Manitoba winters were long but she filled her time with events like winter carnivals and taking the kids tobogganing and to the outdoor rink. Irene participated in team events that had her running a marathon from Gypsumville to Winnipeg, Manitoba.
In 1986 Irene and family accepted a transfer to Red Deer, Alberta. Irene was an avid volunteer at the children’s school. She planned so many beautiful family trips; hiking adventures, camping trips, beach vacations and visiting extended family in Manitoba and British Columbia. Irene returned to full time work in 1993 at the Red Deer College in Document Services. She enjoyed her work colleagues and friends that she made immensely.
Irene had a gift for understanding people and made strong connections wherever she went.
She and Blair enjoyed many travel adventures before she retired from her position in 2013, when they decided to purchase a fifth wheel and travel (mostly) full time. They enjoyed spending summers at Wilderness Village near Rocky Mountain House and spending winters south of the border, always meeting up with friends and family, new and old.
Irene’s biggest asset was her wonderful heart, which ended up being her greatest weakness as well, when she passed at home on December 1, 2019 at the age of 63. Irene’s heart provided each of us with joy, guidance, leadership and unlimited, unconditional love. And now, that is where we each keep Irene, forever, with gratitude, respect and love forever.
“A life well lived is a life everlasting’. Irene penned these words in respect of someone she held dear. And now, Irene, they are yours as well. Thank you for sharing your life so well.
Irene will be forever remembered by her husband and best friend Blair, their son Myles (Cory and grandson Ty Reszel), daughter Kahlie, sister-in-law Joyce Bonchuk (Willie), brother Ernie Bonchuk (Rusty Slobodesky), brother Frank Bonchuk (Gerry), wonderful nieces (five), nephew (one) and their respective families. Irene will be lovingly remembered by her family in British Columbia, sister-in-law Margaret-Ann Creegan (Anthony), nephew and family. Irene is predeceased by her Mother and Father, eldest brother Willie (Joyce) of Brandon, and sister-in-law Joyce (Ernie) of Oakburn.
A memorial service and celebration of Irene’s life is being planned for the Spring. Notices to friends and family will follow, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org for further information.
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