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Irene J. Gardner, 90

Irene J. Gardner, age 90, of Delano, went to heaven Wednesday, March 27, 2019.

It was apparent the good Lord must have needed a banker to help with financial affairs in heaven. Irene spent 50-plus years at the State Bank of Delano and was a “liberated woman” long before that term became part of American discourse. She was a role model and inspired many women in an age when going into business as a woman was rare.

Irene loved the banking business and all the customers and staff she got to know along the way. She was one heck of a polka dancer – in fact she and husband Kenny used to go dancing nearly every weekend. They traveled often and loved cruises that they took all over the world.

Irene had a laugh and a spirit for fun that was hard to ignore. She was well-known and regarded in Delano and surrounding communities.

Besides being a long-time employee at the State Bank of Delano, she was treasurer for Community Chest (United Way), treasurer for the Delano Chamber of Commerce, long-time member of the St. Peter’s Church choir and active parish member, a member of the Delano State Bank Board of Directors, and a volunteer at the local nursing home. She loved God, her faith, and her church.

Irene is survived by two sons, Dan (Brenda), and Den (Sandy); her sister, LaVern Bauer; grandchildren Katie (Kevin), Kim (Ron), Molly (Dan), Tom (Amy), Leslie (Stevie), Mike, and Kristin; and great-grandchildren Benjamin, Maya, Mary, Elizabeth, Ethan, Sophia, Gavin, Evan, and Bennett.

She was preceded in death by husband of 53 years, Kenny; parents Paul and Anna (Motzko) Jaunich; and a sister, Gladys Eckes.

Mass of Christian Burial took place Tuesday, April 2 at 11 a.m. at St. Peter’s Church, part of St. Maximillian Kolbe Parish in Delano. Interment was in Calvary Cemetery in Delano.

There was visitation Monday, April 1 from 4 to 8 p.m. in Martha’s Hall of St. Peter’s Church, with a rosary at 3:30 p.m., and a prayer service at 7:30 p.m. Visitation continued Tuesday, from 10 to 11 a.m., prior to the Mass.

Arrangements were with the Iten Funeral Home in Delano.

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