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Irene Euphemia Deranleau McLaughlin
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Birth: Dec. 10, 1921
Powder River County
Montana, USA
Death: Feb. 14, 2010
Flathead County
Montana, USA

Quoted from Daily Interlake 02/17/2010:
Irene E. (Deranleau) McLaughlin, 88, passed away on Sunday, Feb. 14, 2010, at the Brendan House in Kalispell. Irene was born Dec. 10, 1921, in Boyes, Powder River County, Mont., to Philip and Laura Deranleau, formerly of Quebec Province.

Respect, honesty, love and determination were a part of Irene's mantra for life, and the last four years took all of these qualities and resolve as she dealt with a series of cancer episodes.

Three Deranleau brothers settled in southeastern Montana and farmed on adjacent land. The family spoke Quebecois. Irene learned English at a Catholic boarding school where she was sent when her mother was treated for tuberculosis.

To know Irene was to know that her iron will, strength of character, tenacity and love for adventure fashioned her personality. She and her horse, Lady, survived a lightning strike and she claimed they survived since her large work horse was unshod.

There were numerous trials during the Depression, including a cricket plague that destroyed the family's crops and means to feed their livestock. They were forced to walk away from the farm. They took refuge in Polson, where Irene attended one year of high school. They returned to the Plains and Irene graduated high school at Simms.

Known for her interesting sense of timing, days before her graduation, Irene set out on her horse and rode to the top of Square Butte near Great Falls. The day was sunny and hot. To her mother's dismay, Irene and her horse returned with severe sunburn and she almost missed her graduation ceremony.

Irene's next years and jobs took her from the Montana plains to California, and finally to Kalispell. After graduation, she moved to Compton and lived with her favorite aunt and learned about the Big City. She was proud to say that she was a Rosie Riveter and worked on C-class cargo planes until the end of World War II.

After the war, she trained with Western Union as a bookkeeper, working in Los Angeles. She thought this would be her job for life. However, fate intervened and she was summoned to Kalispell to take care of her parents. She arrived March 19, 1946. Another search for work was on. She was hired at the new F.A. Buttrey Co. and within months, was in charge of ready-to-wear. She was so proud that this job helped her purchase her parent's home in Kalispell.

Irene's life took a romantic turn. During the next year she had her eye on a single man who attended St. Matthew's Church and apparently, the interest was mutual. On Aug. 5, 1947, Irene married Joseph P. McLaughlin, pharmacist and co-owner of MacMillan Drug Co.

It wasn't the flu that laid her up in 1948, it was the birth of Irene and Joe's only child, Patricia. Irene became involved with education and her daughter's direction. Once Patricia started first grade at the old St. Matthew's grade school, Irene couldn't wait to take the annual pictures and chronicled the students until their eighth grade graduation in 1962.

Additionally, she accepted the challenge to guide the Brownie and Girl Scout crew from 1956 to 1962. Eventually, there were 40 girls. Irene learned about the upcoming 1962 World's Fair in Seattle and she had a goal: The girls would earn their way, and they started in 1960. In spite of all who doubted, Irene and all her girls were determined. With grit and creativity, they developed projects, solicited businesses and succeeded. Under Irene's leadership, girls who had never been out of the city saw and experienced a once-in-a-lifetime week in Seattle.

Irene considered travel and gardening as her main hobbies. As a traveler, she was proud to have driven from border to border and coast to coast in the U.S. and Canada. One of her favorite excursions was to drive the nuns of St. Matthew's to Glacier Park and to Canada on a one-day adventure. Eventually, she was thrilled to travel with friends to Europe and Hawaii.

Joe McLaughlin died Oct.1, 1970, after a two-year battle with ALS, Lou Gehrig's disease. At that time, medical assistance and Hospice weren't available. Determined and courageous, Irene struggled to accommodate Joe's needs alone, until Patricia graduated from Gonzaga University in 1970. They worked together to make Joe's life more bearable.

After Joe died, Irene, considering herself a lifelong mate, lived alone and independently until her death. In 1982, Irene returned to work. Her first was at Job Service and then at the Retired Senior Volunteer Program as a part-time RSVP coordinator, where she worked for over seven years. One of the most enjoyable RSVP activities included her 24 years as a member of the Sunshine Choir. She loved to sing and added more of her strong tones to the St. Matthew's choir.

Irene enjoyed serving others and looked forward to working on the Chamber of Commerce newsletter. It was a time to socialize and eat pizza with her friends. Highlights of her later years include the time she would spend with friends after singing. She loved to visit and drink coffee at Sykes Grocery. Folks noted Irene's lovability.

Irene was a member of St. Matthew's Parish and a past regent of the Daughters of Isabella. Irene was preceded in death by her parents, Laura and Philip Deranleau; her husband, Joseph P. McLaughlin; and her sister, Rose Johnson.

Mass of the Resurrection will be held at 10:30 a.m. Friday, Feb. 19, at St. Matthew's Catholic Church, and interment will be at C.E. Conrad Memorial Cemetery. A rosary service will be held at 5 p.m. on Thursday, Feb. 18, in the Johnson-Gloschat Funeral Chapel.

Irene preferred that you send donations to Brendan House and was grateful to all of the care givers and doctors who had treated her for the last four years. Additionally, she thanked the considerate nursing staff at Kalispell Regional Medical Center and Brendan House for their special care for her needs over the years, and especially since Feb. 1.

To live with and understand Irene, you need to know that with class and courage, she defied whatever looked like defeat. She challenged her friends and family to live the same way.
Family links: 
  Philip Joseph Deranleau (1876 - 1966)
  Laura Claire Deranleau (1885 - 1960)
  Joseph Patrick McLaughlin (1894 - 1970)*
*Calculated relationship
Conrad Memorial Cemetery
Flathead County
Montana, USA
Created by: D Blankenship
Record added: Jun 12, 2011
Find A Grave Memorial# 71206564
Irene Euphemia <i>Deranleau</i> McLaughlin
Added by: D Blankenship
Irene Euphemia <i>Deranleau</i> McLaughlin
Added by: Roberta
Irene Euphemia <i>Deranleau</i> McLaughlin
Cemetery Photo
Added by: Cherysse Guilfoyle
Photos may be scaled.
Click on image for full size.

Thinking of you. Rest in peace.
- D Blankenship
 Added: Sep. 11, 2011
To a very dear lady. Thanks for your inspiration, guidance and friendship. Everyone should be blessed to have a lady like you in their life. You will be missed. Prayers and love
- D Blankenship
 Added: Jun. 12, 2011

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