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Irene Anderson - April 11, 2011


Irene (Cornelius) Anderson was born March 23, 1920 to Eba and Minnie (Stumme) Cornelius in Hastings, Neb. She died April 11, 2011 at Melissa Memorial Hospital with her daughter Betty at her side.

She was the 10th child in the family that consisted of three brothers and seven sisters. At the age of 3, her parents divorced, and Irene was raised by her aunt, Lena Stumme.

She grew up and graduated from high school in Hastings. She married Raymond Anderson Nov. 7, 1941 in Wray, and to this union, four children were born.

Irene and Raymond owned a ranch in the sandhills 30 miles northeast of Wray for 66 years. She was a dedicated ranch wife, working a large garden and canning the produce to feed her family. She was a talented seamstress and sewed most of her children’s clothes.

She enjoyed quilting, and she taught Sunday school at the Laird Methodist Church during the time her children were at home. She taught cooking, sewing and gardening for the Sandhillers 4-H Club. She was always available to help any neighbor in need and is fondly remembered by them.

Her home was a favorite place for her numerous nieces and nephews, who loved to visit the ranch during summer vacations. She made the trip to Wray especially to pick them up to spend a week or two, even though it meant more mouths to feed, laundry to do and more children to scrub.

In her later years, she loved to travel. She visited her sister in Arkansas and a sister in Yuma, Ariz. She visited Mexico, California, Yellowstone Park and Hawaii.

She has received loving care in the home of her son and daughter-in-law in Holyoke since 2005.

She was preceded in death by her parents; all of her siblings; her husband, Raymond; her daughter, Iris Anderson; and her son-in-law, Melvin Watkins.

She is survived by her children, Betty Watkins of Arvada, Clair Anderson and wife Merlinda of Holyoke and Desarae Pauletich of Grand Junction; and grandchildren, Myra McKinney of Lakewood, Evan McKinney and Gabrial of Wray, Allen Watkins of Denver, Robert Pauletich and wife Mandy of Grand Junction and Raymond Anderson of Aurora; step-granddaughter, Joanne Wellington of Aurora; and four great-grandchildren, Joshua and Brook Pauletich and Quinn and Savanna McKinney.

The funeral was held April 15 at the Methodist Church, followed by the burial at Grandview Cemetery in Wray.