Irene Louise Roadarmel, 89, passed away at the Madison Valley Manor in Ennis, Mont., June 12, 2021. She was born May 29, 1932, in Billings, Mont., to Samuel and Nina (Johnson) Leffingwell.
Irene attended schools in Central Park, Logan and Manhattan, Mont. Her childhood years were spent on various ranches in the Gallatin Valley where her father was employed, including the Flying D and the Climbing Arrow ranches.
At age 3, Irene and her older sister Iona could both tap dance. All through her life she would rather dance than eat.
Her childhood desire to become a registered nurse quickly faded (at the age of 18). While attending a country dance on the Madison, Irene’s eyes fell on Jack, the most handsome cowboy she’d ever seen. She said, “Someday I will marry that cowboy,” and she did.
Irene married Jack on Aug. 22, 1951; to this union four sons were born. They became the pride and joy of Irene’s life, for her family was her life and her world.
For 48 years she was a full-time rancher’s wife and homemaker often saying, “It’s a hard life, but a good life, the Lord blessed us mightily”.
Irene was baptized at age 22 and became a member of the Manhattan Presbyterian Church. “I had heard that Jesus suffered and died for sinners and the nobodies in life; I was both. I was cracked, broken, weary, worn, empty, sick and full of sin. I accepted Christ into my life and found peace within.”
One of Irene’s greatest joys was to teach kindergarten Sunday school and attend Bible studies.
Irene’s interests were always family-oriented: cooking, baking breads, decorating cakes, gardening, canning, oil painting, camping at Potosi, building small-scale model homes, writing family history, visiting family and friends, fieldwork, and milking cows. She loved cooking the special dinners on Sunday.
When the first snow fell in the fall, you would find Irene in the cellar admiring her summer’s work of canned fruits, vegetables, jams and jellies.
She was always there to help, guide or give advice on problems that came along when the boys were growing up. Even if it wasn’t what they wanted to hear, her intentions were always for the good of her boys.
Many times she sacrificed something so they could benefit from it. She was a tireless worker all of her life and did so willingly.
She is now reunited with the family members who have passed away, including the love of her life, her husband Jack Sr.
Irene is survived by her sons Jack Jr. (RaeLeen) and their children, Chrissy, Bob and Mike; Mark (Nancy) and their children, Shannon, Heather and Nicole; Ross (Doreen) and their children, Michelle, Candice and Joshua; daughter-in-law Teresa and her children, Aron and Brandon; 14 great-grandchildren; sister Iva Bellach; and brother-in-law George Mickelberry.
She was preceded in death by her beloved husband; son Alan; parents; sisters Iona Cameron, Ida Lou Mickelberry and infant Sammy; and brothers-in–law Archie Cameron and Ed Bellach.
Services have taken place. Condolences and memories may be shared with the family at www.dahlcares.com.