Irene Mae Shuda, age 83, Stevens Point, died peacefully March 21, 2021, under the care of Ascension Hospice, Stevens Point at Brookdale/Dimensions Senior Living in Stevens Point.
Irene was born April 12, 1937, in Stevens Point to John and Phylis (Woyak) Meronek. During her senior year of high school, Irene worked as an Optometrist Assistant to Dr. George Leach. Irene and Ray Shuda met one day as she walked past the gas station where Ray worked on her way to work downtown. The owner of the gas station told Ray to go over and talk to Irene. So, he walked over, said “Hello” and told her he had a car and could give her a ride if she needed one. Weeks later she called him and the rest was history. Irene graduated from Maria High School in June 1955.
Ray and Irene and were married on September 28, 1957, at St. Peter’s Church and settled in Stevens Point. They are the parents of five children: Dan, Kathy, Gary, Alan, and Craig. She continued to work after the children started school at the following businesses: Dr. G. R. Leach, Kaiser Optical, Walmart Vision Center, and Sentry Optical. She retired in 1999, after 33 years in her career.
Irene was gifted a Kodak Brownie Hawkeye camera by her Godmother, Mrs. Minnie Matthews when she was 12 years old. Through the years she captured life’s special moments of her friends and family including, new babies, birthdays, awards, holidays, sports, music recitals and concerts, graduations, weddings, anniversaries, vacations, camping, and travels.
She liked to plan family gatherings and outings. She was dedicated to her children, grandchildren, and great-grandchildren. Irene greatly enjoyed watching her grandchildren participate in their school and sports activities, especially music performances. During all these times, she enjoyed being the family photographer.
Irene is survived by Ray, her husband of 63 years; her five children, Daniel (Ann) in Eau Claire WI; Kathleen in Mount Pleasant Wis.; Gary (Cindy) in Custer; Alan (Kris) in Faribault, Minn.; Craig (Anita) in Brookfield, Wis; 13 grandchildren: Bethany (Steve) Kolve in Eau Claire; Ali Shuda (Matt) Bents in Madison; Jacob (Elise Wattman) Shuda in Eau Claire; Rosemary Shuda in St. Louis Park, Minn.; Stephanie (James) Vaughan in Sun Prairie; Marc Lundquist in Milwaukee; Caitlyn Shuda in Custer; Brett Shuda in Custer; Matt (Katie) Shuda in Faribault, Minn.; Michael (Daisy Jo) Shuda in Faribault, Minn.; Jason Shuda in Faribault, Minn.; Jarod Shuda in Brookfield, Wis.; and Tyler Shuda in Brookfield; and her seven great-grandchildren: Sam Callarman, Britt Kolve, Poppy Bents, Maurice Bents, Donovan Lundquist, Sylvie Vaughan, and Carter Shuda.
Irene is also survived by her sisters: Pat Zdroik in Stevens Point, and Beverly Kowalski in Stevens Point, and many nieces, nephews, and godchildren.
Irene was preceded in death by her parents, John and Phylis Meronek; Father and Mother-in-law, Steve and Elizabeth Shuda, sister Barbara Clussman, and brothers-in-law: Ron Shuda, Bill Clussman, Jerry Kowalski, and nephew Kenny Kowalski.
Visitation will be held on Friday evening April 9, 2021, from 4-7 p.m. (with a rosary at 6:30 p.m.) at the Shuda Funeral Chapel, 3200 Stanley Street, Stevens Point. A visitation will also be held on Saturday from 10-10:45 a.m. The funeral service officiated by Rev. Jeffrey Hennes at 11 a.m. will follow at Shuda Funeral Chapel. The burial service will be at Guardian Angel Cemetery.
The family wishes to thank the entire staff at Stevens Point Health Services, and Brookdale/Dimensions Living in Stevens Point for their kindness and care the past year, as well as Ascension Hospice for their exceptional care and comfort during Irene’s final days.
Online condolences may be sent by visiting www.shudafuneral.com.