Irene Sullivan, 88 passed away suddenly at her assisted living apartment on Sunday, April 22. She was born on October 30, 1929 to Ervin and Ellen (Kaler) Alderson. She graduated from Columbus High School in 1947. But she attended school in Marshall until her senior year and remained close to her Marshall friends her entire life. She was prom queen of her junior class and from that point on loved dressing up and going to formal dances. She attended County Normal Teacher’s College while working at the Columbus Hospital following graduation.
Irene married Edward Sullivan on November 27, 1948. They moved to the Cambridge area early in their marriage and resided there until they built a year round retirement home on their Rock Lake property in Lake Mills in 1993. Irene and Ed loved to entertain family and friends in their home and at the lake. They cooked together to create St. Patrick’s Day meals, dinner parties, holiday events and hundreds of Sunday family gatherings. Irene also loved to dance and Ed was her favorite partner for 52 years. Recently she danced using her walker at a church polka party.
Irene was a stay-at-home mother for her family of nine children. Once all her children were in school she loved working in retail and especially enjoyed her time working at a greenhouse planting and selling plants. She was active in the Cambridge School District parent association and helped found the local AFS Chapter. She opened her home to be an early host family. She particularly enjoyed dressing in her Irish lace apron and going to the elementary school on March 17 to talk about her Irish heritage.
Irene and Ed were founding members of St. Pius X Catholic Church in Cambridge. Irene was actively involved on a regional and national level with the Council of Catholic Women. She held numerous offices in CCW including the President of MDCCW from 1976-78. She also traveled to national CCW conferences for committee participation and speaking. She greatly enjoyed being a retreat coordinator in both her Cambridge and Lake Mills parishes.
Irene is survived by her daughters Deborah and Margaret Sullivan, Amy (Danny Thiessen) Sullivan; Bridget (Wayne) Garland and two sons Tim (Diane) and Mic (Monica Engels) Sullivan. She is also survived by her grandchildren Jake, Ryan (Kim) and Brent (Toni) Sullivan; Olivia Von Blomberg (Kayla), Megan and Eion Sullivan, Telsa Garland, and John and Katharine Sullivan. She has two great-grandchildren Riley and Miles Sullivan. She also has two daughter-in-laws Bethany Sullivan and Angela Costabile-Sullivan. Her sisters Mary Ann Kueffer and Nancy (Jeff) Tellefson survive her along with brother-in-laws Joe (Edith) Sullivan and James (Judith) Sullivan. She is further survived by numerous nieces and nephews, extended family and friends.
Irene is preceded in death by her husband Edward, sons Thomas, Patrick and Sean and two sisters Betty (Roger) Blumenthal and Katherine (Leonard) Stuntebeck, and a brother-in-law Robert Kueffer.
A Mass of Christian Burial to celebrate Irene’s life will be held on Friday, April 27 at St. Pius X Catholic Church at noon with visitation from 10am to noon prior to the Mass. Memorials in Irene’s name can be made to St. Pius X, Cambridge, St. Gabriel’s, Lake Mills or to the CCW. The Nitardy Funeral Home, Cambridge, WI is assisting the family.