Irene Gertrude McGeary

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Irene G. McGeary
August 3, 1924 • May 5, 2019

Irene G. McGeary, 94, of Benson, Minnesota (formerly of Danvers) died  Sunday morning, May 5, 2019, at the Scandi Haven Village in Benson. Visitation was held  Friday, May 10 at the Zniewski Funeral Home in Benson from 6:00 p.m. to 8:00 p.m., with a 7:30 p.m. Rosary, and continued for one hour prior to the service at the Church of the Visitation in Danvers, Saturday.  A Mass of Christian Burial was held 11:00 a.m. at the Church of the Visitation in Danvers. Interment followed the service in the Church of the Visitation Catholic Cemetery.  

Irene Gertrude (Banken) McGeary was born August 3, 1924, in Faribault, Minnesota, the daughter of Peter and Mary Ann (Langeslay) Banken.  She was baptized at the St. Laurence Catholic Church in Faribault,  August 10, 1924, by Father Pat Ryan. Irene was confirmed at the St. Laurence Catholic Church in 1936 by Bishop Murray. She grew up on a farm north of Appleton, Minnesota and graduated from Appleton High School.

In 1943 during the war, she worked as the ration gasoline clerk of Pope County in Glenwood and later in 1945 worked as a price contract clerk of Chippewa County in Montevideo.
September 24, 1946, Irene was united in marriage to Austin McGeary at St. Malachy’s Catholic Church in Clontarf, Minnesota by Father Larkin. Austin and Irene were blessed with over 65 years of marriage.  She said the biggest thrill of their lives was being able to adopt four children.  Austin and Irene farmed in Marysland Township for 40 years then moved into Danvers.

Irene was an active member of the Church of the Visitation where she served on the Church Council, Church Lay Minister, Lector, sewed the Priest’s vestments, and was awarded the Bishop’s medal for her service. She served as President of the Senior Citizens and was a member of the Benson Golf Club and the VFW auxiliary. Irene enjoyed oil painting, sewing, dancing, golf, crafts, gardening, playing cards, and visiting with her family and friends. She was very creative in recreating almost any craft, including sewing a prom dress for Colleen that matched a very expensive one sold in a Willmar dress shop.  Irene spent many hours working in her garden and was very proud of her gardens both on the farm and at their home in Danvers.  Equal to her love for her gardening, she loved to get together with her friends, painting and visiting for hours at a time.  She turned their porch in town into her art gallery and painted over 100 paintings during her life.  Irene joined her Savior,  Sunday morning, May 5, 2019 at the Scandia Haven Village in Benson. She was blessed to live with us for 94 years, nine months, and two days.

Irene is survived by her children: Collette (Tom) Garrity of Jersey City, New Jersey, Colleen (Steve) Larson of The Villages, Florida, Kevin (Jane) McGeary of  East Bethel, and Tony (Sue) McGeary of Eagan; nine grandchildren: Nick McGeary, Mark (Cassie) Larson, Kristen (Doug) Larson, Christopher McGeary, Allison Garrity, Connor McGeary, Marie McGeary, Kira McGeary, and Kaitlin McGeary; four great-grandchildren: Lily Star McGeary, Wendy Ritter, Shelby Larson, and Sydney Larson; and several other relatives and friends.

She was preceded in death by her husband Austin,  December 1, 2011; parents, Peter and Mary Ann Banken; brothers: Ted, Floris, Paul, Ray, and Frank Banken; a sister Mary Jane McGeary; and two grandchildren, Andrew McGeary and Ashley McGeary.

Zniewski Funeral Home of Benson assisted the family with the arrangements.
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