January 10, 1934 – May 9, 2014


It is with sadness that the family of Irene Handke announces her passing on May 9, 2014 at the age of 80 years. She will be greatly missed by her daughter, Sonja (Bob) McDowell and their son Ryan of Calgary; and son, Gordon (Janet) Handke, and their son Joshua of Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates; sisters: Wanda Schwingel of Rimbey, Alma Segui and Terry Sereda of Vancouver and numerous nieces and nephews. She is predeceased by her parents: Robert and Ada Look, husband, Rudy Handke of Westlock; sister, Elsie Bauer of Rimbey, and granddaughter, Nicole McDowell of Calgary. Irene Handke was born on January 10, 1934 in Lipini, Poland, the second eldest of five daughters of Robert and Ada Look. She was able to go to school for only five years before World War II broke out, but during that time excelled to grade eight. After the war she and her family were put into a concentration camp for four and half years and in 1949 upon release moved to Westfalen, Germany.  Irene met her husband-to-be Rudy Handke in 1951. They were married in 1953 and set out by ship for a new life in Canada. They settled in Barrhead for two years before buying a farm near Bluffton where they farmed until 1974 before moving to a farm near Calmar. They farmed there for two years and in 1976 moved to a farm near Westlock. Irene and Rudy were married for 31 years before his passing in 1984, after which time Irene lived in Rimbey until 1999  before settling in Calgary. Irene and Rudy had two children, Sonja and Gordon, who were born in 1957 and 1959 respectively, and attended the University of Alberta. Sonja is the owner of Nikola, a boutique ladies clothing store in Calgary and Gordon is Director of Budget and Planning for New York University Abu Dhabi. Irene enjoyed knitting, reading, listening to music and spending precious time with her children and grandchildren. A Funeral Service was held in the Chapel of Mountain View Funeral Home on Saturday, May 17, 2014.

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