Nature 40

Irene Elsie Veselic

April 13, 1925 ~ January 3, 2020 (age 94)


With her family at her side, Irene Veselic passed away peacefully on Friday, January 3, 2020 at the age of 94 years.

Irene was born in Calgary, one of eleven children to parents Michael and Mary Yaworenko. At the age of six she moved with her family to Waseca, Saskatchewan where they took up farming. Irene grew up in the time of the Great Depression and WWII where life was very hard, but she held onto her dreams of visiting San Francisco, Mexico and owning a restaurant. At the age of fifteen she left the farm to work in Calgary and then did in fact find her way to San Francisco where she worked at the Presidio Army Base. Irene met her future husband, Emil Joseph Veselic at the base. They moved to Connecticut where they were married in 1948 and had three children. Irene and Emil moved back to Calgary in 1954 where four more children were born.

In 1968 Irene and Emil bought a restaurant in Cochrane called the Range Grill. A western movie was produced in the restaurant and Irene had a bit part in it. After selling the Range Grill, Irene went to work at the Stoney Alcohol and Rehabilitation Centre outside of Morley, Alberta. She made many trips to Mexico and fell in love with the locals and their culture. Irene held on to her personal beliefs and values and instilled them in her children. A handshake was as good as her word.


Irene was predeceased by Emil, her husband of 65 years on February 21, 2015. She is survived by her children: Patricia (David), Linda, Garry (Michelle), Sherry, Morgan, Terry (Karen), and Kenneth; her grandchildren: Clayton (Stacy), Dusty, Jacob, Courtland, Sayla (Dean), Jenny (Shone), and Caitlin; her great grandchildren: Isolde, Rowen, Jacob, Kya, Holly, Hanna, Tristan, and Stella. Irene is also survived by her sisters Ann Purnell and Dorthey Kapty; her brother George Yaworenko; as well as many nieces, nephews, cousins and friends Wylie, Aiza and Edmund.

Many thanks go out to Dr. Hart and the staff at Tudor Manor in Okotoks, Alberta. Irene was blessed to have a large family advocating for her needs and care. A special thanks to her granddaughter Jenny and her great granddaughter Stella for their daily visits which brought happiness to Irene and the many residents of Tudor Manor.

In lieu of flowers, donations can be made to the Cochrane Ecological Institute & Cochrane Wildlife Reserve Society(     OR

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Cochrane Ecological Institute & Cochrane Wildlife Reserve Society
Box 484, Cochrane AB T4C 1A7
Tel: 1-403-932-5632

Cochrane Research Institute
PO BOX 484, Cochrane AB T4C 1A7
Tel: 1-403-932-5632

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