Irene Jane Martinek, age 93, of Glenwood, MN, died Monday, March 22, 2021, at Glacial Ridge Hospital in Glenwood. A private family Mass of Christian Burial will be held on Saturday, March 27, 2021, at St. John Nepomuk Catholic Church, with burial to follow in the church cemetery. Father Peter Kirchner will officiate. The service will be videotaped and available for viewing on the Hoplin-Hitchcock Funeral Home website that afternoon. Arrangements are with Hoplin-Hitchcock Funeral Home of Glenwood.
Irene Jane Simek was born October 25, 1927, in Hudson Township, Douglas County, Minnesota, the second daughter of Anton Simek and Josephine “Josie” Kalina Simek. She attended school in District 17 and, as of 2014, was officially the oldest living graduate of that school. Irene was a life-long member of St John Nepomuk Catholic Church. She married Harvey Martinek on June 10, 1946, at St Mary’s Catholic Church in Alexandria. They chose St. Mary’s because fire had destroyed the Reno church and it hadn’t yet been re-built. The two settled on their Reno Township farm where they raised their four children and enjoyed 53 year together before Harvey’s death in 2000. Irene spent 72 years of her life on the farm, staying as long as she could before moving to Glenwood Retirement Village in Glenwood in 2018.
In her younger days, Irene knew how to turn a garden into a year’s supply of food. She could take a piece of cloth and turn it into whatever she wanted. She crocheted miles of yarn. She was a partner in everything that happened on the farm from hauling grain to doing chores. When it came to baking, she proudly made all the traditional Czech foods and kept a careful eye to ensure no visitor’s plate was empty.
Irene loved to play cards and was a member of the Glenwood, Lowry and Forada card clubs as well as enjoying many years in the Red Hats and Forada Birthday Club. Her life was as she wanted it. Close to home. Close to family. Close to friends. Irene passed from this world on Monday, March 22, 2021, at Glacial Ridge Hospital in Glenwood, having lived to the age of 93 years.
Irene is survived by three of her children, Dennis (Linda) of Glenwood, Jerry (Marlene) of Burnsville, and Janel (Darrel) Benesh of Forada; 11 grandchildren, Lisa (Al) Jergenson, Angela Martinek, Kelly (Josh) Howe, Shelly (Steven) Scott, Mike (Erin) Martinek, Paul Martinek, Abby (Joe) Blumhardt, Drew (Hina) Martinek, Joe (Jenn) Benesh, Jess (Ben) Wymore, and Emily Benesh (Michael Schmitt); along with 12 great grandchildren.
She was preceded in death by her parents; husband, Harvey, her son, Alan Martinek (in 2020); a sister, Marcella Brezina and her husband Wencil, brother-in-law, Otto Brezina and his wife Lillian; two daughters-in-law, Shirley Drake Martinek and Sherilyn Schmidt Martinek.
Blessed be her memory.
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