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Life story
August 29, 1917
 

WHO WAS IRENE?

 

Irene (Irena) Isabella Kallay Conlin left us on February 15, 20ll after a short illness.  Irena was born in Chicago, Ill. on August 29 1917 to Jan and Zophia (Sophia) Kallay. She had a brother, Adam (Bill) George Kallay who, before he passed in 1994, was a resident of Whidbey Island, also moving to Washington State from Chicago. She raised 5 children mostly singlehandedly after the death of her late husband, Edison John Conlin (1963). In early years there were little benefits available so she worked multiple jobs mainly from home where she was an accomplished seamstress. She moved from Chicago to New Orleans, thereafter to Ft. Walton Beach, Fl., then to Everett where she resided for many years, living the last 4 years in Seattle with Victoria (daughter) & Jay Wangsmo and Randy (son). 
 
Our mother, the family Matriarch was a loving, giving and very talented woman. She was an accomplished Ice Skater and Kayaker. She loved all kinds of music, was an accomplished Spanish Ballroom Dancer and a good free hand artist. She knew carpentry and even how to fix a car. She loved to invent things as well. Cooking and baking was a favorite love of hers; her recipes are sought after. Irene worked in Florida as an (PN) medical care giver for over a decade. She has sailed to Europe several times in her earlier years, once aboard a famous ship called the Berengaria, that almost went down at sea. She was fearless, often helping others in distress or in danger and was a staunch defender of her family. She loved to drive fast with the top down when she had a convertible and had an adventurous spirit to the end. Irene loved action movies where the good guys went after the bad guys, and expressed her feelings loudly as the dramas unfolded. She was a staunch supporter of Americas law enforcement and military.
 
Irene’s favorite color was pink, favorite food chocolate Ice Cream, her favorite flower Lily of the Valley, her first kiss was at age 16 and her favorite songs among many others was Over the Rainbow, Michael Row your Boat ashore, Mambo Italiano and A-a-a, kotki dwa Ah-Ah-Ah, Two Little Kittens- a Lullaby and polish nursery rhyme.
 
One of her old time favorite TV series was the Lawrence Welk Show. Favorite dance, among others was the Polka and one of her favorite instruments was the concertina.
 
She raised her children as Christians and worked hard to instill good moral values. Irene had not only excellent physical strength but a sharp and curious mind. She is survived and cherished by her children, James Sereyka, Ron & Randy Conlin, Veronica DeGraaf and Victoria Wangsmo. Irene's grandchildren, Nikki, Sergi, Greg, Dante, Sean & Seth and many great-grandchildren, along with extended family in Chicago, Poland and other parts of Europe and even Australia: all who love her dearly.  Imagine a world where dozens of her decedents were not here trying to contribute to the world as she did; her loving family and many friends cannot.