Irene Wahl

Obituary of Irene Wahl

July 23, 1927– Scott, Saskatchewan
October 4, 2022 – Calgary, Alberta

Irene Wahl, (nee Laturnus), cherished matriarch, beloved companion, accomplished artist, baker of the perfect apple pie, keen bridge player, and world traveller, passed away on Tuesday, October 4, 2022, at the age of 95 years. She died as she lived, gracefully and surrounded by family.

Irene's life began July 23, 1927, in the small farming town of Scott, SK. She was sickly at birth and her parents didn't expect her to survive past infancy, so they gave her a name suggested by a nurse and didn't bother choosing a middle name. Her endurance was underestimated by nearly a century.

Irene's girlhood was defined by the Depression of the 1930s. All thirteen of the Laturnus children were expected to help in whatever ways they could, and among young Irene's jobs were to sift through coal dust to find any small usable pieces and collect dried cow pies that could be used as fuel. Those years of scarcity stuck with Irene, and decades later she would endure gentle teasing from her children and grandchildren for her habits of saving used tinfoil and wrapping paper for reuse.

As she entered adulthood, Irene met George Wahl and the two married in 1950. They welcomed their first son a year later. George and Irene moved to Calgary in 1956 seeking opportunity for their growing family and found their forever home. By 1964, Irene was a mother of eight.

Her youngest, twins, were at home until 1981, after which Irene finally had the time to pursue her passion for painting. That same year, she started studying at the Alberta College of Art and Design (now the Alberta University of the Arts), where she honed her skills, expanded her creative outlook and made a lifelong friend, fellow artist Bev Tosh. Irene graduated in 1985 and spent the rest of her life with a paintbrush in her hand. Her works have been in private and public showings across Canada and as far away as Japan.

While her art career grew, so too did Irene's family, as she was made a grandmother many times over. She wore the title with great pride. Irene mostly painted flowers and landscapes, but she completed at least one piece featuring each of her grandchildren. She typically fretted about getting their likenesses just right and was rarely satisfied with her work. Although she packed up most of her art supplies years ago, she was still fiddling with one grandkid painting until just days before her passing.

After 56 years of marriage, Irene was predeceased by George in 2007. In the years that followed George's death, Irene built a special companionship with Bud Watson, a fellow parishioner at Holy Name Catholic Church. The pair travelled together to the West Coast, the Maritimes, Mexico and Italy. In 2018 they both moved into the Manor Villages at Garrison Woods where they kept each other in good company. They enriched each other's twilight years immensely.
Irene is survived by three of her siblings, Liz Butler, Leo Laturnus and Carol Fischer; her eight children, Bill Wahl, Jim (Heather) Wahl, Laureen Wahl, Patti Wahl (Tom Fenton), Audrey Grant (George Grant, deceased), Tom Wahl (Annemarie Taylor), Joan (Darryl) Chambers and Jane (Chris) Ellingson; fifteen grandchildren, Jonathan Wahl, Leah Hooker, Carrie Perullet, Billy Byma, Daniel Byma, Michelle Maskaant, Ryan Grant, Adam Grant, Taryn Grant, Ryan Allan, Sarah Allan, Alana Chambers, Krysta Chambers, Kennedy Ellingson, and Cameron Ellingson; her fourteen great-grandchildren and partner, Bud Watson.

Funeral Mass will be celebrated at Holy Name Catholic Church (2223 – 34th Street S.W., Calgary, AB) on Wednesday, October 12, 2022 at 11:00 a.m. Reception to follow at the church. Condolences, memories, and photos can also be shared and viewed here.

In living memory of Irene Wahl, a tree will be planted in the Ann & Sandy Cross Conservation Area by McInnis & Holloway Funeral Homes, Park Memorial, 5008 Elbow Drive SW, Calgary, AB T2S 2L5, Telephone: 403-243-8200.

Click Here to View Irene Wahl's Memorial Card


Funeral Mass

11:00 am
Wednesday, October 12, 2022
Holy Name Catholic Church
2223 – 34th Street S.W.
Calgary , Alberta, Canada
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