Irene E. Espelien age 98 of Park River, ND passed away peacefully on Friday, December 9, 2022 at the First Care Health Center of Park River.
Irene Emma McLaughlin was born January 20, 1924 in Cleveland Township, Walsh County, ND the daughter of the late Howard and Rose (Lansing) McLaughlin. She grew up on the farm in Cleveland Township with her two sisters, Ethel Corah and Margaret Winther and two brothers Harold and Lawrence.
Irene married Joseph Espelien on December 25, 1942 in Alexandria, LA. After Joe’s discharge from the army in 1946 the couple returned home and farmed in Norton Township until retiring in 1988 and moving to Park River.
Irene was an active member of Our Saviour’s Lutheran Church and WELCA, the Riverside Swinger’s Square Dance Club, the Bosh-Ryba American Legion Auxiliary in Lankin, ND; and the Northeast North Dakota Pioneer Machinery Association. Irene enjoyed sewing, baking, cooking for family and working on the farm. She loved to square dance, listening to Polka music and the Molly B program, gardening and spending time with her grandchildren.
Irene is survived by her children: Arden (Donna) Espelien, Scappoose, OR, Carmen (Steve) Severson, Minto, ND, ReNae (Wayne) Gerszewski, Park River, ND, JoEllen Espelien, Park River, ND, 9 grandchildren, 15 great grandchildren, and 3 great great grandchildren. She was preceded in death by her parents, husband Joseph, siblings and 2 grandchildren.
Funeral services will be Saturday, December 17, 2022 at 10:30 AM at the Our Saviour’s Lutheran Church of Park River. Visitation will be for one hour prior to the service at the church. Interment will be at the Memorial Park Cemetery of Park River in the spring. Services will be livestreamed on the Our Saviour’s Lutheran Church Facebook page.
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