We are sad to announce that Irene passed away early in the morning of Monday November 8th, 2021 at the age of 96.  She died peacefully with loving family at her side. Irene was born on the family farm in Verwood, Saskatchewan to Archie and Olga Domes.  She grew up and was schooled during the Depression years which greatly influenced many aspects of her life.  Irene attended Luther College in Regina and graduated in emerging medical sciences becoming a Lab and X-ray Technician.  After beginning work in Saskatchewan, Irene sought travel and adventure by transferring to the hospital in Mission, BC.  She next worked at the Saskatoon City Hospital where she had many fond memories of life as a single professional woman and making many life-long friends.

It was through friends that she agreed to a blind date with a handsome young Air Force officer named Bryce Collings.  Bryce was immediately smitten and wasted no time in proposing.  They were married on October 3, 1953 in Saskatoon.  Bryce was posted to Victoria, BC where Irene took an X-Ray Technician position with the Chest Clinic at the Royal Jubilee Hospital.  The young couple was able to buy a house, which they kept and rented out in the intervening years, and developed a lifelong love of Victoria to which they would return later in life.  Life in the Air Force involved lots of moving – Aurelie was born in Winnipeg, Aileen in Montreal and Kevin in Bistroff, France.  The family spent their last posting in Greenwood, Nova Scotia.  Irene devoted herself to raising the children, taking part in their activities and lessons, while still managing to fit in casual work and keeping up to date on her profession.

In 1972 they made an epic cross-Canada road trip journey with the family, from Wolfville, Nova Scotia to Victoria, BC, in their air-conditioned green 440 Dodge Monaco.  Victoria would be their settled home.  Irene was soon to return to part-time work and very much enjoyed being with many of the same colleagues at the Royal Jubilee Chest Clinic that she had left those many years ago.  When the children were grown, Irene resumed full-time work until her retirement in 1990.  Mom and Dad’s favourite activity during retirement was going on road trips, mainly up-island.  Mom would have Dad’s undivided attention and was delighted with extended conversation while riding happily along.

Volunteering was a big part of Mom’s life with wide ranging service to her children and community, as a Brownie Leader and as a devoted member of the Evangelical Lutheran Women’s group where she helped to distribute food and make quilts and warm clothing, providing comfort to those in need.  Irene and Bryce were also long-time volunteers to the Meals on Wheels program in Victoria.  In 1994, she was an official volunteer at the Commonwealth Games, a year-long position to which she gave much of her spare time.

Irene is survived by her daughters Aurelie (Neil), Aileen (Zbigniew) and son Kevin (Tina); her grandchildren, Philip (Desiree), Ethan, Claire, Evangelian (Murray), Eila and Emmett; and her great granddaughter Holly.  She is survived by her older brother Art and many cherished nieces and nephews.  Irene was predeceased by Bryce, her loving husband of 55 years, in addition to her sister Elsie and brothers Edward and Herb.

Irene will be remembered for her loving and caring spirit of generosity.  She was a beautiful woman with impeccable social graces and fashion sense.  Interment of Bryce and Irene’s ashes and graveside service will take place together at the family plot in Victoria at a later date.  Please remember Irene each in your own way.

To view a collection of Irene’s photos, click on the image below.

Condolences may be offered to the family below.

McCall Gardens

  • Harriet Freytag

    My husband Ralferd (1926 – 2020) and I were privileged to get acquainted with Irene when we joined Lutheran Church of the Cross, Victoria, BC in 1992. She was a gracious, lovely lady and it was always a pleasure talking with her. I am sure she will be missed by family and friends. May God grant you peace and consolation at this time.
    Harriet Freytag

  • Eunsil Kim

    My sincere condolences to the whole family. She will be deeply missed. I am very grateful that I have been able to look after her. I will always remember her nice smile and gentle, soft voice and great appreciation toward everything.

  • David J. Domes

    David J. Domes
    Irene was a delightful gracious lady and visiting with her was always a pleasure.
    Her father(Archie) and my father (Carl) were brothers. Thus Irene and I were 1st cousins.
    Because Irene and I were 20 years different in age, and living in different provinces, we never really got to know each other well until my wife Jeanette and I moved to Qualicum Beach on Vancouver Island in 2002. We had good times sharing family stories. Irene was a favorite cousin and she will be missed.
    We send our condolences to the family.

  • Tracey & Phil Wood & family

    Thank you for this lovely tribute and slide show. I have enjoyed the photos and chance to spend some time with my memories of Aunt Irene.

    Our family will remember her fondly and with admiration for a life well lived. She had a lovely sense of humour, always was interested in engaging conversation and was such a good story teller. She was a smart and strong willed woman who also possessed timeless beauty and grace. How lucky we all were to have had her in our lives.

    Our condolences to you all.

  • Bonnie Benning

    I have watched the photos a couple of times now, and it brings back many memories of your mom. The other day when I was shopping for groceries, I noticed some cabbage rolls. We had not had any for a long time but they reminded me of the many times Irene brought cabbage rolls or served them at their house. She was always a wonderful hostess. Her recipe binder that she often referred to had some fabulous recipes and even more memorable memories of meals shared with family and friends.
    At one time, her church was having a fashion show and she asked Katharine to model your grandmother’s wedding dress. Katharine was the only one petite enough to fit into the dress; I think Katharine was about 14 at the time.
    Mom and Irene shared a friendship all their lives. Mom and Dad went with Bryce and Irene on many of those up island trips. Even after mom was widowed and living in a retirement facility, Irene and mom had their afternoon visits sharing past memories and a small glass of Creme de Menthe.
    We will miss her, and remember her always.

    The children and grandchildren of Earl and Edna (Altwasser) Beggs


    Heather & I send our condolences to the immediate family. My fond memories of Aunt Irene go back to when she was a single young lady, and through to years to our last telephone conversation. Back when they lived in France she wrote very descriptive letters to my mother, which we would read and re-read. When Heather and I were on our honeymoon we visited them in Montreal as we attended Expo 67. It was there that she helped me prank Uncle Bryce. While parking my car at his work site I left a sternly worded note on his windshield saying that I didn’t appreciate him parking in “my spot” and signed it as though I was some very high ranking air-force person. That ruined his whole day as he tried to track down who it was so that he explain that it was truly “his spot”. We never confessed the prank. I could share more treasured stories but what I will miss most of all was hearing her very unique speech pattern. It would be hard to describe but those who knew Aunt Irene will know what I mean.

  • Linda & Garth Smith

    What a loving tribute to an amazing lady. I always was so very proud to be blessed to have her as my godmother. As a teenager I remember bragging about the gifts I got from my godmother Auntie Irene …..“who lives in France you know!”.
    She took her role seriously and never forgot my birthday or later our wedding anniversary. Auntie Irene & Uncle Bryce made the trip to attend each of our children’s weddings and although our visits were few (due to distance) we definitely had a bond. If only I would’ve been able to hear more of her life story!
    I cherish our last visit with her when she was still in Highgate Senior’s complex. Upon return I shared with many about this rare, captivating woman in her 90’s and her spunk, ever a fashionista and still so full of social graces.

  • Kathryn Bush

    Condolences to the whole family – we are very sorry for your loss. Very happy though that we had so many nice visits with her when she came to Calgary. Kathy, Doug, Franklin and Patience Bush

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