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Thursday, March 30, 2023
Starts at 10:00 am (Central time)
Irene Mary Smith Alexander formerly of Topeka passed away at Diversicare of Council Grove on March 23, 2023, to be with her Lord.
Irene was born March 29, 1922, in Ft. Totten, ND to Alice Zahn and William Paul Smith. She went to school in Kennebec, SD and attended nurses training in Pierre, SD. On May 2, 1945, she married R.W. (Wayne) Alexander in Denver, CO while he was in the Army Air Corps. Irene worked as a nurse at National Jewish Hospital in Denver. She also worked at the Townhouse Supper Club that featured entertainers such as Louis Armstrong and Cab Calloway.
Eventually, the family moved to Council Grove, KS where Wayne grew up. At that time, Irene worked at the Morris County Hospital. In 1962, the family moved to Chino, CA where Wayne took a sales job with a feed company. However, after a year they moved back to Topeka, KS. Irene was employed at Pelletier’s Department Store, she was a buyer for Woolworths at White Lakes Mall, sold real estate, worked at Menninger’s and eventually, went into private nursing.
Irene enjoyed sewing, reading, and feeding the birds along with many stray animals. Especially her cats. She told stories of being sent away to government boarding school at Ft. Totten, ND at the age of five. The school, which was an old military base was operated by Canadian nuns. While there, the Native American children were not allowed to speak their language. Left-handed children were made to switch to using their right hand. She became a stronger person due to her strong faith and courage.
Irene leaves, to cherish her precious memory, her children; Connie Alexander, Nancy Sharp and husband JB, and Sandy Cameron, all of Topeka. Rick Alexander and wife Carol, of Edmond, OK.
Eight grandchildren; Tiffany McBride and husband Ted, of Overland Park, Ashley Sharp, Piper Naimabadi and husband Reza, and Ali Cameron all of Topeka, Caitlin, Grace, and Austin Alexander of Edmond, OK and Corey Reynolds of West Virginia. Three great grandchildren; James and Charley McBride, Overland Park and Lauren Sharp of Hill City. A nephew, Wayne Smith, wife Cheri and daughter Tamala, of Kennebec, SD and a niece Julie Smith of Boise, ID. Irene was preceded in death by her parents, two sisters and a brother.
There will be a mass at St. Rose Catholic Church at 10AM on Thursday, March 30, 2023 and burial following at Calvary Cemetery. A luncheon will follow at St. Rose. In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions can be made to St. Rose Catholic Church, 300 Spencer Street, Council Grove, KS 66846 or Helping Hands Humane Society, 5720 SW 21st Street, Topeka, KS 66604.
To leave a special message for the family online, please visit www.sawyerchapel.com.