Irene Etta Merritt, formerly of Fairchild, passed away peacefully surrounded by her family on Wednesday morning, April 26, 2023, at Sacred Heart Hospital in Eau Claire.
Irene was born in San Diego, California, on November 20, 1938, daughter of Chuck and Laura (Nesbit) Iles. She was raised in San Diego and it was here that she met Duane Merritt of Minnesota, who was stationed there while serving in the U.S. Navy. The two were united in marriage on Nov. 16, 1957, in San Diego.
In the mid 1960’s the young Merritt family moved to rural Fairchild, where Irene helped Duane operated their dairy farm in addition to raising their 4 children. She helped with all aspects of the farm and loved the animals, especially the many dogs she had over the years.
Duane was a very civic minded individual and even though Irene wasn’t in the forefront, she was always there along side of him and helped where ever needed. She truly loved the solitude when it came to reading and crocheting. Her favorite pastime by far was crocheting items to share with family and friends.
Irene and Duane moved off the farm and into Osseo in the spring of 2017. Later that October Duane passed away and Irene remained in Osseo until entering Oakwood Health Services in Altoona in 2020.
Irene will be dearly missed by her 3 daughters, Wanda and Frank LaBerge of Elk Mound, Nadine and Don Hanson of Eau Claire, Denice Merritt of Altoona; son, Neil and Pamela Merritt of Osseo; 12 grandchildren, Miranda LaBerge, Jamie (Jason) Herdahl, Matthew and Joseph Hanson, Josh (Maria) Krenz, Ashley (Justin) Mork, Benjamin Krenz, Laura (Dustin) Terry, Cory (Ellen) Krenz, Leah (Justin) Kulenkamp; Lindsey (Tyler) Hart, Megan (Jason Garfoot) Merritt; 15 great grandchildren, Riley, Reese, Hadley, Brixton, Logan, Khalia, Garrett, Illanna, Gavin, Olivia, Sydney, William, Ava, Aubrey and Vivianne; sister, Carole (Duane) Madaus of Genoa City; and sister-in-law Fay Iles of Phoenix, AZ.
Irene was preceded in death by her parents; husband Duane; great granddaughter Natalie Krenz; and siblings, Berta (Roy) Shult, Dona Martin and Bruce Iles.
A visitation will be held Wednesday, May 3, 2023, from 4 to 7 p.m. at the Anderson Funeral Home in Augusta.
A private burial service will be held at the Northern Wisconsin Veterans Cemetery in Spooner.
The family would like to thank the staff of Oakwood Health Services for not only providing excellent care to Irene, but also doing it in a warm and caring home-like atmosphere.
Online condolences can be left at www.andersonfhaugusta.com