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.
David J. Domes
Tracey & Phil Wood & family
HERBERT Gerald HUBER
Linda & Garth Smith