Langenburg lost a devoted champion of the community with the passing of Irene Adams on Monday, August 9, 2021 at the Langenburg Centennial Special Care Home at the age of 86 years.
The only child of Philip and Phyllis (Schweitzer) Adams, Mary Irene Elizabeth was born August 3, 1935 and raised on a farm near Churchbridge, SK surrounded by the beautiful world of God’s creation. At an early age she developed a love of language becoming an avid reader and writer. Her writing skills were honed by her participation in the Young Co-operators Club resulting in many of her poems and short stories being published in the Western Producer. As a teenager, she mentored other young writers in the club. Her education started at Thingvalla School and continued at Churchbridge High School for grade eleven and Langenburg High School for grade twelve.
She followed her calling graduating from Teacher’s College in Moose Jaw and later earning her Bachelor of Arts and Bachelor of Education, both with great distinction, from the University of Saskatchewan. She first taught in a one room school near Indian Head, and then in Balcarres, before accepting a position in Langenburg where she would complete her thirty-year career as a senior English teacher at the high school. Irene opened up the world of debate, drama, Toastmasters and English literature to her students. She was recognized with the Joseph Duffy Excellence in Teaching English Award in 1991.
During her teaching career, Irene chaired the Langenburg and District History Book Committee which produced the book Walk Back Through Time. She served the Potashville Teachers’ Association as secretary and president and, for 11 years, as councillor to the Saskatchewan Teachers’ Federation. She also served on the STF provincial executive. Locally she was involved with St. Paul’s Lutheran Church, Royal Purple, Library Board, and politics describing herself as an unapologetic New Democrat.
After retirement, Irene turned her other pursuits and passions into a full-time enterprise. She travelled across Canada serving on district, provincial and national boards with the Evangelical Lutheran Women (ELW). She was a founding member of the Langenburg Arts Council, Peace Parkland Lutheran Parish, and the Family & Friends Community Foundation. She served two terms on Town Council in Langenburg and as a board member on the East Central District Health Foundation. Her knowledge of local history was an asset to the Museum committee, yet another community organization for which she donated her time, effort, and funds.
Irene received many accolades for her dedicated service including the Saskatchewan Volunteers Recognition Award and the Commemorative Medal from the Office of the Governor General in recognition of significant contributions to the community and Canada. She was awarded life memberships for her work by the Superannuated Teachers of Saskatchewan and the Organization of Saskatchewan Arts Councils.
Irene was admired for her fearless approach to life. If something needed doing, she would do it without any second guessing. She was both analytical and creative. She expressed her creativity as a singer, sketch actor, painter, and cartoonist. With her quick wit, she loved banter and contradiction. Always willing to laugh at herself, her self-deprecatory nature put people at ease.
While her many friends and colleagues will mourn her passing, Irene’s legacy lives on in the organizations she strengthened, the individuals she mentored, and the students she taught. An exceptional role model, she left her mark as a community builder and exemplary volunteer.
A funeral service will be held at 2 p.m. on Saturday, September 11, 2021 at St. Paul’s Lutheran Church in Langenburg with Pastor Daphne Bender officiating. Braendle-Bruce Funeral Service is in care of the arrangements.
To send flowers to Irene's family, please visit our floral store.
St. Paul's Lutheran Church Memorial Fund
Langenburg SK S0A 2A0
Canadian Cancer Society - Saskatchewan Division
1910 McIntyre Street, Regina SK S4P 2R3
Irene Adams Fund, Family and Friends Community Foundation
Langenburg SK SOA 2A0