Irene Angeline Forster was born August 27, 1941, in Spruce Hill Township, MN, the daughter of Anton and Florence (Beheng) Forster. She was raised on the family farm. Irene graduated from Jefferson High School in Alexandria, MN.
On June 25, 1960, Irene was united in marriage to Dale Wheeler at the Church of St. Mary in Alexandria. They lived briefly in Chicago and then moved to Bloomington, MN. where they began raising a family. They were blessed with three children. When the children were young, Irene held some retail positions while also maintaining a home and caring for the children. She stretched the family budget by canning and freezing any fruits and vegetables she could get, sewing, reupholstering furniture, quilting, vigilant thrift shopping, recycling, refunding and couponing. Later the family moved to Grand Forks, ND, Fargo, ND and then to Bismarck, ND. In Bismarck Irene worked with Dale at a travel agency. After the children had all left home, Irene and Dale moved to Coon Rapids, MN, where Irene was a bookkeeper for Park Dental. Irene worked for Park Dental for several years until she and Dale moved back to Alexandria about twenty years ago. Irene worked for a time at the First State Bank of Carlos and Alexandria before retiring.
Irene’s faith was always strong. She was always active in the churches where she belonged. For several years she served the church by helping with funeral lunches, wedding receptions, and in any other way she was needed. In Alexandria she was a member of St. Mary’s Church and volunteered her time with the Christian Mothers and the Daughters of Isabella. Additionally, Irene served the local Red Cross as a Gray Lady and assisted with blood drives; showing how important volunteering was for her even in later years when she had physical challenges.
Irene loved spending time at the retirement home on Lake Carlos. She enjoyed fishing in the summer and winter. She was a prolific gardener and was thrilled to be able to have fresh fruits and vegetables, and always shared the fruits of her labor with anyone and everyone she could. She enjoyed growing flowers to display and share. In her retirement years Irene also joined the Red Hats and enjoyed many outings and activities with them. Spending time with her family and her grandchildren was important to her; she loved playing rummy with the grandchildren. She delighted family and neighbors by noting the foods people liked best and serving them when people came to visit. She was thoughtful of others; always recognizing birthdays, anniversaries and all other events with cards, letters and gifts.
On Saturday, May 23, 2020, Irene died at her home with her family at her side. She was seventy-eight years of age. She is preceded in death by her parents and siblings, Anthony, Bernadette, Raphael, Harvey and Peter Forster. Irene is survived by her husband, Dale Wheeler of Alexandria; children, Julie and husband Pat (Keimig), of Plymouth, MN, Gregory Wheeler and wife, Sandy, of Cape Coral, FL and Todd Wheeler and wife, Lyndsay, of Petal, MS; grandchildren, Jeremy Wheeler and wife, Kara, Kyle Wheeler, Brittany Wheeler and Nathan Wheeler; and siblings, Rudolph Forster, Sr. Patricia Forster, Sylvia Klimek and Glen Forster.
A Memorial Mass and Celebration of Life will be held at a later time. Interment will be at 1 PM on Saturday, May 30, 2020 at the St. Mary’s Church Cemetery in Alexandria. Arrangements are with the Anderson Funeral Home and Crematory in Alexandria. www.andersonfuneral.net
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