Irene Elizabeth Haenke
Elizabeth “Irene” Haenke (nee McDonald), age 95, died Monday, November 20, 2017 at Mission Oaks Assisted Living Center in Oxford, Florida. She was born on December 11, 1921, in Boston, the daughter of Roderick McDonald and Mary Jane Campbell. She married Michael Haenke on December 21, 1946 in Flint, Michigan. Both were Veterans of World War II, and met at a Veteran’s dance following the end of the war. Irene proudly served in the Women’s Army Air Corps, serving as a Link Trainer Instructor teaching young pilots how to fly before they embarked on their journeys overseas.
She and Michael moved to northern Minnesota shortly after the birth of their first daughter, and purchased their first farm. They engaged in the dairy farm business and then, followed in the path of Michael’s grandfather in the potato farm business. They later sold their farm, and began a new career as motel owners; owning the Lakeshor Motel in Virginia, Minnesota, and the Bell Motel in Fairmont, Minnesota.
The couple raised eight children. Irene is survived by seven of her children: Barbara Ulrich (Wes) of Bluffton, SC; Karen Guimont (Gary) of Plymouth, MN; Marilyn Haenke (Monty Hayner) of Venice, FL; Gail Jacobson (Art Gamboa) of Denver, CO; Beth Just (Jerry) of Centennial, CO; Joanne Abruzzese (Pat) of Simi Valley, CA; and Roderick Haenke of Minneapolis, MN; 16 grandchildren; 12 great-grandchildren; brother Roderick McDonald; and sisters Cathy Nolan and Jeanette Livingston. She is preceded in death by her husband, Michael; a daughter, Kathleen; her parents, three sisters and two brothers.
A Memorial Service will be held at St. Mark’s Parish in The Villages at 11:00 on December 11, 2017. Burial will take place in Biwabik, Minnesota at a later date.
Memorial donations may be made to Villages Honor Flights, Inc. PO Box 490 Lady Lake, FL 32158-0490.