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In loving memory of
Elizabeth Irene Haenke
  • December 11, 1921
  • -
  • November 20, 2017

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Obituary

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.


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  1. Don Haenke says:
    10 Dec 2017
    Our deepest condolences to the family-we are sending a memorial to the Villages Honors Flights in her name from Don and Lynne

  2. Karen Guimont posted an image:
    09 Dec 2017
    Mike and Irene
    Mike and Irene

  3. Karen Guimont posted an image:
    09 Dec 2017
    Mom Karen at rehab 2017
    Mom Karen at rehab 2017

  4. Karen Guimont posted an image:
    09 Dec 2017
    Mom and dad
    Mom and dad

  5. Karen Guimont posted an image:
    09 Dec 2017
    First Communion 1930
    First Communion 1930

  6. Karen Guimont posted an image:
    09 Dec 2017
    Family
    Family

  7. Karen Guimont posted an image:
    09 Dec 2017
    Great grandkids
    Great grandkids

  8. Karen Guimont posted an image:
    09 Dec 2017
    At West Point with Greg and grandpa.
    At West Point with Greg and grandpa.

  9. Karen Guimont posted an image:
    09 Dec 2017
    Mom as a young woman
    Mom as a young woman

  10. Jean & Jack Guy says:
    07 Dec 2017
    Dear Family, I was just looking up Irene's address to send her a Birhday card. I just happened to look in the obits in the Mesabi. Sure was sad to read the news. Jack and I had so much fun with your Mom and Dad, playing card and golfing and just talking. Always wish we could do it one more time. Please kept in touch. Winter-163 Lake Glen Dr. Carson City. NV 89703
    Summer- 6466 Cypress Ln, Gilbert, Mn 55741

  11. Linda Scheuring says:
    29 Nov 2017
    Irene was a very special hard working woman and Michael (my cousin) sure picked the right woman to share his life. They will be missed terribly!

  12. Barbara Klein says:
    28 Nov 2017
    This lovely lady will be missed by all who knew her. Irene was a very special "sister" to me.

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