We Remember

BIDEWELL, Irene Lilly

March 28, 1931 — February 13, 2022

With much sadness we announce the ‘unexpected and sudden’ peaceful passing of our mother/grandma/great-grandma/sister-in-law/aunt and cousin. Irene’s husband Bill passed just three months ago. We wonder if our mom was wishing to spend Valentine’s Day with her soulmate of 68 years. As a woman of great faith, she would tell us that she was ready to meet her Lord and Savior at any time.

Irene leaves behind her four children: two sons, Bob (Shirley) and Brian (Debbie), plus her two daughters, Marjorie and Bonnie (Dave). She was very fond and proud of her five grandchildren namely Jennifer (Shawn), Kimberley (Ryan), Carson, Andrew (Melissa), and Alana (Ricardo). She was overjoyed to have 9 great-grandchildren: William “Liam” and Benjamin, Landon and Jaxon, Joshua, Matthew and Emma, and Leonardo “Leo” and the youngest baby, Leia.

Irene had a lifetime of memories and love for her sister-in-law Gladys & brother-in-law Benny. She was their matchmaker! She was a fine auntie and would pray for her nephew David (Janet) and niece Sharon (Brian); and also for her second cousin Don and his wife Lorraine, serving in Mexico.

Never an unkind word, Mom was loved by all those who knew her. Always ready to hear a good joke, the sound of her laughter will forever remain in our hearts. Being a kind and thoughtful lady, she would be concerned for everyone’s wellbeing and wanted to be certain we were dressed for the outdoors… warmly… winter or summer!

Irene was born in St. Albert, Saskatchewan as a pastor’s daughter. She had one older brother who adored her. She learned many strong and genuine traits from her parents, which she would later pass on to her children. Growing up, Irene’s family didn’t have much money. And yet, the family would be certain to give away to those in greater need. That being the case, there were days when dandelion soup was on their menu. In her teens, the family moved to Calgary, AB, and at youth group she met her husband Bill. Her father and brother were the wedding officiants.

Together they departed from Canada with a toddler born in Ontario, had a second daughter while in Portugal, a son born in Africa, and on return home their youngest son was born in Edmonton, AB. Irene embraced all their adventures as missionaries with courage and her faith. Always thankful for the small things, she made the best of everything. Even with very little, she would strive to look her very best. Having learned the art of hat design, her sewing skills came in handy while abroad. An entire bolt of fabric was just what she needed to sew up matching mother & daughter dresses and the window curtains too!

Back in Canada, she became an accomplished organist for church choirs in Edmonton, Vancouver and Kelowna First Baptist. On weekdays, she taught piano lessons for 33 years to school aged children and even a few adults. Playing for weddings was fun for Irene and a delight when, a few years later, she would meet the couples again now raising their own young families.

Skipbo was her first choice card game… a champion! In her 80s, she mastered the skills for computer puzzles. She rarely missed a Blue Jays game, or The Wheel of Fortune, or The Price is Right! She loved her window view while watching the activities around a bird feeder. Irene was quite the speedy hallway athlete with a scooter on wheels, travelling three times daily to the dining room at Mission Wood.

Her family would like to thank the staff at Mission Wood, her First Baptist Church friends, Dr. Pavan and Interior Health for their care and attention.

Her life was filled with joy because she felt blessed at what God had done for her. Every day, she faithfully read her Bible and prayed for family and friends. We will miss your cuteness and sweetness, mother dear. The angels are rejoicing now, their special gain is our deep loss. See you in Heaven, Mother.

In lieu of flowers the family asks that you please consider donating to The Canadian Bible Society.

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The Canadian Bible Society Link: biblesociety.ca




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