Vigen Memorial Home obituary – Irene Smith, 96, Montrose

Irene Smith, 96, of Montrose, died Monday, November 10, 2020.

Irene Smith, 96 of Montrose, IA died Monday, November 10, 2020 at the Donnellson Health Center.

     She was born January 28, 1924 in Lee County, IA the daughter of Andrew and Vendla Marie Lantz Eck.  

     Irene graduated from Argyle High School with the Class of 1941.  While in high school, Irene was a member of the girls’ basketball team and was recognized as a standout player.

     On July 25, 1947 she was united in marriage to Wendell Phillips Smith in Burlington, IA.  He preceded her in death on August 5, 2004.

     She had been employed by Central Lee Community School District for forty-four and a half years.  

     Irene was a member of the First Lutheran Church, Daughters of American Revolution and the Iowa Teacher’s Association.  

     Irene was a talented piano player and loved music.  The highlight of her life was playing the piano while her daughter, Cindy sang and Kirk Bradenberger played the fiddle.  She was an excellent artist and enjoyed oil and acrylic painting.  Irene loved watching the eagles, traveling all over, going on geode hunts and photography. 

     She is survived by several nieces, a nephew, cousins and many good friends.

     She was preceded in death by her parents, one daughter, Cynthia Smith, one brother, John Eck, one sister, Esther Heine and a cousin, Marie Kirchner who was raised with her family.

     A funeral service was held Saturday, November 14 at the Vigen Memorial home in Keokuk, IA with Reverend Rodney Underwood officiating.  Burial was held in the Montrose Cemetery in Montrose, IA.

     Visitation will be held prior to the service from 10-11 a.m., Saturday, November 14 at the funeral home with family meeting with friends at that time.

     A celebration of her life will be held for family and friends at a later date.

     Social distancing requirements will be in place and masks are required.  

     In lieu of flowers, memorials may be made to the Central Lee Education Foundation or First Lutheran Church and may be mailed to the Vigen Memorial Home 1328 Concert St. Keokuk, Iowa 52632.     

     Online condolences may be sent to the family at

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