IRENE ANGELA BULLEN (nee AIRD)
September 10, 1933 - May 6, 2020.
With her youngest daughter at her side, Irene peacefully passed away at the Tudor House in Selkirk, Manitoba on May 6, 2020 at the age of 86 years.
Irene was born in Winnipeg, the third of four children, and grew up living on Balmoral Street and then Victor Street in the West End of Winnipeg. Growing up she spent most of her summers on her aunts’ farms in Treherne and Notre Dame de Lourdes. She attended Daniel McIntrye Collegiate and switched for her final year to graduate from St. Mary's Academy in 1952. Irene then entered nursing school at the old Grace Hospital but left to marry Norman Bullen on October 24, 1953. They began their married life in Transcona, moved to Carman in 1960 when Norman started Carman Radio and TV, and moved to St. Andrews when Norman began working in Winnipeg in 1972.
In 1982 Norman started Norm’s Electronics and Irene became the bookkeeper for the business. Irene also worked at local polling stations for several elections in varying capacities.
With six children, Irene was very busy at home. In 1961 she learned to curl. This was the beginning of a lifelong recreational pursuit that she was able to actively participate in until 2013. Irene was always an active volunteer, helping out wherever she could. She was involved in St. John's Anglican Church in Carman, Selkirk Brownies and Girl Guides, the Mapleton 4-H Club, Selkirk Ladies afternoon curling and then later Senior Ladies Curling for many years. She was very proud to receive her 25-year pin from the Selkirk Curling Club. In summer, Irene loved to work in her flower gardens and every Saturday would be off to the garage sales to find treasures. Throughout her life, Irene was an avid reader and enjoyed books by Canadian authors, listening to CBC radio, sewing, crafts, knitting and crocheting. She was also a passionate sports enthusiast, loudly cheering for the Blue Bombers and the Winnipeg Jets.
Irene loved dogs and in the late 1960’s started Ireman’s Kennels to breed CKC registered Boston Terriers. In the late 1980’s and early 1990’s Irene and Norman spent several years travelling on the dog show circuit where their Bull Terrier, named Luther, won several Canadian and American championships.
Irene loved to travel and, along with Norman, toured Germany and Switzerland; England; Hawaii; Ireland; and cruised the Eastern Caribbean. In 1981 she was able to travel to South Korea and China. Seeing the Great Wall of China was a real highlight.
Family was all important to Irene. When their children began settling around the country, Irene and Norman would travel each summer to visit in their motorhome. Throughout the years they travelled the country from BC to Nova Scotia.
Although her last seven years were filled with health challenges, her positive outlook, sense of humour and strong spirit kept her going. She was able to stay in the family home with the support of her family, Interlake RHA Home Care and staff from Comforts of Home Care. Irene moved to Tudor House on August 8, 2017 and her bright smile along with her quick response to any question asked made her quite the character.
The family would like to thank the dedicated staff at Tudor House, especially Connie, Stacy, Jolene, and her special friends Olive and Val, and the Comforts of Home Care support workers, especially Heather, Relene, Kathy and Tina.
She will be greatly missed by her husband of 66 years, Norman, her children, son Bruce and grandchildren Jennifer, Tyler (Jessica and great grandchildren Emma and Addison), Kristen and their mother Linda; daughter Pat; son Donald; son Gordon (Olga) and grandchildren Walter and Oliver; daughter Linda (Guy Morin) and grandchildren Kate and Garret; daughter Sandra (Roland Schneider) and grandchildren Marcus, Xavier, Maggie and Signe. Irene is also survived by her brother-in-law Bob Bullen and sisters-in-law Margaret Lussier, Nan Suche and Teri Aird. Irene was predeceased by her parents Don and Angela Aird; sister Cathy Fasano and brothers Ron and Jack.
Cremation has taken place. A celebration of Irene’s life will take place at a later date.
In lieu of flowers donations in Irene’s memory can be made to Crohn’s and Colitis Canada.
Condolences may be left on her tribute wall at www.gilbartfuneralhome.com.
Gilbart Funeral Home, Selkirk in care of arrangements.
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