Irene Wilson


Irene Wilson, 94 of Mitchell, SD, died Saturday, February 4, 2023 at her home under the kind, loving, compassionate care of Avera Hospice. Funeral services will be 10:30 AM Saturday, February 11, at Cornerstone Baptist Church in Mitchell with visitation one hour prior to the service. Burial will be at Graceland Cemetery in Mitchell. Arrangements by Bittner Funeral Chapel.

Irene Maxine Wilson was born May 26, 1928, in Mitchell to Murvin and Gladys (Brees) Felton. It was her wish for many years to live to be 100 years of age, but circumstances prevented her from fulfilling that wish. She graduated from Mitchell Senior High in 1946. After graduation, she began work caring for two children and as a candy striper at the Methodist Hospital. She worked at the office at Equity Creamery where she would meet her future husband Kenneth F. Wilson. Their first date was at the skating rink where Kenneth impressed her by skating backwards. She didn’t know how to skate but I’m sure he taught her how. They were married on December 4, 1949, and settled on a farm across the highway from the 4-H fairgrounds and continued to live there all of their married life. Their marriage brought forth six children. Irene passed away there, under the loving, wonderful, compassionate care of Avera Hospice where their employees bonded with her over two years time. Irene & Kenneth had a very active social life. They went square dancing, ballroom dancing and playing cards with family, friends and neighbors. They were also active farmers and raising six kids. After raising kids, Irene decided to work in town. She waitressed at the Karmel Korn Shop on main street, was a breakfast cook at Sunshine Cafeteria, did baking at DWU cafe, bookkeeping for Baldwin Realty, the Elks Lodge, Import Motors and Wise Tire. One tax season for H&R Block & many tax seasons for the farm. Irene owned the Nearly New Shoppe, and a ceramic and flower shop. She took evening classes for oil painting, sewing, reupholstering and Spanish. She was always willing to keep learning & improving her knowledge & skills. She had a very green thumb and loved flowers, plants and gardening. She canned the food to keep her large family fed. She loved to read and liked Western & mystery stories. Some other hobbies were knitting, crocheting, embroidery, bowling, sewing, playing the piano earlier in life and playing the organ later in life. She also enjoyed jigsaw puzzles, crossword puzzles, baking, playing card, (especially Cribbage).

Irene was a member of the First United Methodist Church for over 60 years. She taught Sunday School for many years and sang in the choir for a number of years. She also belonged to the Methodist ladies circle. She left the Methodist Church & became a member of the Cornerstone Baptist Church in 2004. She underwent emersion baptism in 2006. She led the hymn singing, sang solos and played the organ at Cornerstone. Singing was an important part of her life. In her past she belonged to the Sweet Adelines. She was involved in many organizations and held important positions in leaderships in Veterans Organizations.

Irene is survived by her six children: LeeLand (Sandy) Wilson, Ronald Wilson, Corinne (Jerry) Wulf, Trudy Kirchhevel, Spencer Wilson, Warren (Sherri) Wilson, 14 grandchildren and 24 great-grandchildren; sister-in-law Janice Felton.

She was preceded in death by her husband Kenneth in 2012; brother, Donald Felton; sister, Myrtle; brothers-in-law Everette (Marjorie) Wilson and Clarion (Natalie) Wilson and sisters-in-law, Mary Ellen (Edwin) Malde and Francis (Robert) Green.

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