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Ellen 'Irene' George
Irene George

Irene George, 84, of Billings, passed away Wednesday, Jan. 21, 2009, at Aspen Meadows Retirement Home.

She was born on March 17, 1924, in Laurel, to Loren and Marie Shay, and graduated from Laurel High School. She was a homemaker most of her life, with short periods of working at Wold's department store in Laurel, the shipyards in Portland, Ore., during WWII, and the Carpet Mart.

Irene married Wilbur D. George on Oct. 23, 1944, in San Francisco. He was in the Navy and she worked at the shipyards. They had five children.

She was an active member of the Emmanuel Baptist Church. She had a strong faith and it sustained her throughout her life. She volunteered at the voting polls, the hospitals and helped other housebound elderly people. Irene was a member of VFW Post #6774. She enjoyed traveling in her later years with her friend, Magdalena Fitzgerald. It was not uncommon for them to get in the car and take a trip to Boise, Idaho, to visit her daughters or a day trip around the area. They even got adventurous and took a trip to New York to see Broadway plays.

She is survived by her two daughters, Mrs. Alan (Susan) Roberts and Ms. Shirley George of Boise; three sons, Gary George and his wife Angie of Billings, Jerry George and his wife Debbie of Boulder and Craig George of Billings; her sister, Mrs. Lawrence Branstetter (Erma) of Billings; her brother, Mr. Loyd Shay and his wife Alta of Laurel; 10 grandchildren and 23 great-grandchildren.

Visitations will begin at noon on Sunday, Jan. 25, at the Smith Downtown Chapel, 925 S. 27th St. The funeral service will be at 10 a.m. on Monday, Jan. 26, at the Smith Downtown Chapel, with a life celebration afterwards. Interment will be at the Park City Cemetery, Park City.

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