Irene Christine was the first born on July 20, 1920 of 11 children raised by Conrad and Ida Annell. They were both Swedish immigrants and lived on a farm 7 miles south of Palermo.
Irene went to the Nichols school through the 8th grade. As money was very scarce during the 30’s, she was sent out to help people who were ill or pregnant. Sometimes she was paid a little money, but most of the time she was only given food.
The grass was nearly burned up because of the drought, so Irene would drive their cattle 3 miles to water and then grazed them back to the farm.
In 1939, the Annells moved to Chatfield, Manitoba in Canada. They loaded a boxcar with horses, machinery and household goods. Irene’s dad and brothers, Conrad and Carl rode in the railroad car and Irene drove the family car with her mother and 4 siblings to Canada.
Irene worked for about 3 years as a maid around Winnepeg. By that time, she was able to save up a great deal of money (77 dollars!), so she moved back to the States. She renewed her relationship with Gordon Quammen and they were married October 24, 1942. To this union, 4 children were born: Sandra, twin brothers, Stanley and Sanford and Susan.
Irene and Gordon built their own home in Stanley where Gordon was a long-time blacksmith and machinist. Irene ran the Dairy Queen for 10 years. She also painted and papered houses for many folks in the area. She baked wedding cakes for area people and rolls, cookies, cakes and pies for local restaurants.
After Gordon retired, they traveled through about half of the states in the U.S. and at least 4 Canadian provinces.
On June 8, 2018, Irene passed away peacefully in the same bedroom that she had had for over 70 years.
Irene is survived by her 4 children, their spouses, 8 grandchildren, 6 great-grandchildren and 3 great-great grandchildren; sisters, Lillian, Janice, Esther and Ellen; brother, Marvin.
She was preceded in death by her parents; husband of 62 years, Gordon; brothers, Carl, Conrad and Niels; and sisters, Elvina and Marjorie.
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