September 13, 1924 - November 14, 2020


The world lost a beloved woman, our sweet mother Irene Evelyn Botz, 96, of Long Prairie peacefully went home to be with the Lord, Saturday, November 14th, 2020 at the Mother of Mercy Nursing Home in Albany, MN. Mass of Christian Burial will be at 1:00 PM, Friday, November 27, 2020 at Saint Mary of Mount Carmel Catholic Church in Long Prairie. Visitation will be one hour prior to services at the church on Friday. Fr. Omar Guanchez will officiate and burial will be at the Long Bridge Cemetery in Little Sauk at a later date. Williams Dingmann Stein Chapel in Long Prairie has been entrusted with arrangements.

Irene was born September 13, 1924 in to Clarence and Julia (Leseth)Thompson in Little Sauk, MN. She attended school in Sauk Centre. At a very young age, in the depression era, she had to work just so she could stay in school. Even so, she was unable to complete High School. Her goal was never lost. In 1981, at 57, she earned her diploma. During WWII, as a teenager, she met and fell in love with a handsome blond haired, blue eyed sailor, Norbert Botz. They married when he returned on leave November, 22, 1943. When Norb return from the Navy they settled on a farm south of Long Prairie where they raised seven children. Money was scarce and work abundant on the farm but loving and caring for the children left little time to dwell on it. Irene was a “doer” and when something needed to be done, she met the challenge. She made sure her family went to church each week and enjoyed fun times with her growing family.

Sadly, the marriage to Norb ended in 1980. Life was hard but she persevered with strength and grace throughout. Irene, meaning “peace” demonstrated that trait throughout her life. She was kind, caring and loving person who was known to be humble and soft-spoken. Her great faith was apparent in the way she lived her life. Giving of herself to others if someone needed help, she was there to lend a hand. Irene also worked as clerk at Lubert’s Grocery, a nurse’s aide at the LP Hospital, later at the LP nursing home, and as home health aide. Irene did not let any grass grow under her feet, even after “retirement”, she worked with a good friend, painting houses and apartments, inside and out, until she was 79 years old. Even though the jobs she held did not pay much, Irene could make a lot out a little. Somehow, she always found ways to attend graduations, weddings and special events of family and friends, no matter where they were and enjoyed regular vacations. Irene was absolutely the best mother offering everything she could to her family - faith, time and love!

Her legacy lives on through her four sons, Marvin (Jeanne) of Wall, SD, Norman (Janice) of Chiniak AK, Conrad of Eagan MN, Tom (Connie) of Delano, MN; three daughters, Norene (Roger) VanValkenburg of Reno, NV, Marie ( fiancé Gene Miller) George and Janet (Rick) Byland both of Sauk Centre, MN; in her grandchildren Nichole, Julie, Kara, Michelle, Jason, Jackie, Angie, Jody, Dusty, Jeremy, Tim, Jon, Katie, Conrad II, Jasmine, Tyler, Ben, Rochelle, Lucas, Mackenzie, Molly, Jess, Ricky, Whitney and is further continued in 61 great-grandchildren and one great-great grandchild.

Loved ones preceding Irene in death are parents; infant son John; son-in-law Dwight George; her brothers Gordon and Donald Thompson; a sister Lorraine Loheim and several grandchild and great-grandchild losses.