nee Olsen (Halliday)
June 16, 1934 - June 17, 2018
A mother, sister, aunt, grandmother, great-grandmother and friend. Irene died peacefully in the Drumheller Hospital after a brief stay. She had just celebrated her 84th birthday with friends and family. Born in Drumheller Hospital, to Christ Leonard Olsen and Elvira Ann Nobel. She grew up on a farm near Morrin, Alberta with siblings, Esther, Leonard, Gordon and Keith. Attended grade school in Morrin and later High School in Drumheller where she stayed in the girl’s dormitory and made many lifelong friends. From there she went on to nursing school in Medicine Hat. After which, she took her first position as a nurse in Bermuda. Irene worked as a Registered Nurse for 39 years, many of which she spent employed at the Drumheller Hospital working all three shifts. A woman known for her quick wit and mischievous streak, she was generous with her sense of humour passing it on to three generations and sharing it her whole life. She had a dead-pan style, known for her sarcastic rebuttals and practical jokes, at home and at work. As a nurse she believed ‘laughter’ to be the best medicine and applied it liberally. She became known as ‘Hatfield’ by staff on the medical floor. An independent woman, strong and completely inspiring; brave and noble raising four children as a single parent while balancing a busy nursing career. She valued spending time with the family and vacationing at Fairmont and was sure to attend family reunions. She liked to crochet and made many afghans to spoil those she loved. It was her wish that her friends and family remember the times of laughter and many hilarious incidents. One of her fondest memories is a family vacation trip in 1974 which toured through Banff, Lake Louise, Cardston, Fort MacLeod, Lethbridge and Medicine Hat. She loved to dress up, always curled her hair and put on lipstick. An avid scrabbler, puzzler and crossword enthusiast. Her love for music included gospel, 50’s-60’s, Elvis Presley and especially her own children’s singing. She loved reading her Bible. Amongst her most prized possessions were her photo albums, Norman Rockwell prints and anything rooster. Irene loved people and was very involved in her church and community. She was an active member of the Seventh Day Adventist Church for 35 years and served as treasurer for a time. She loved to cook for potlucks for the Church. Irene was a member of the Badland Gals (Red Hats), After 5 Christian Women’s Club, Retired Nurses Dinner Club and Pioneer Singers. Irene served for 14 years as a member of the Citizens’ Appeal and Advisory Committee for Alberta Social Services. After retiring she joined the Pioneer Trail Quilting Group and a seniors travel group. Her love for travel had began early in life on trips to Cuba and Mexico. She loved to take friends to all the Alberta tourist spots and shows. She loved the theatre and drama including visiting the Rosebud Dinner Theatre and the Drumheller Passion Play where she volunteered for years. She thoroughly enjoyed her turn at decorating for the Retired Nurses Dinner Club and After 5, where her famous peonies were used annually for table centre pieces. Irene leaves behind daughter Kathy Steeves, sons, Donald(Heather) Halliday, Ronald (Gloria) Halliday, and Robert (Barb) Halliday; 15 Grandchildren, Jonathan Steeves, Teneille Knell, Jody Steeves, Tracey Kehler, Jessica Halliday, Jennifer Halliday, David Halliday, Carmen Halliday, Cameron Halliday, Joelisha Halliday, Elizabeth Halliday, Abigail Halliday, Benjamin Halliday, Nicholas Halliday, Sarah Halliday; 7 Great-Grandchildren, Mila Steeves, Fletcher Steeves, Micah Knell, Grace Knell, Hope Knell, Rose Knell, Kyler Halliday; brothers Leonard Olsen, Keith Olsen as well as numerous nieces and nephews, cousins and friends. She was predeceased by sister Esther Notland, brother-in-law Alvin Notland, brother Gordon Olsen, sisters-in-law Donna and Pat Olsen; son Leslie Halliday, nephew Mark Notland and close friend Gerrie Edwards. The family would like to recognize the many friends Irene leaves behind and especially Anne Campbell, trusty sidekick and dear friend. Thank you to Dr. Ram and Acute Care Staff for your compassionate and thoughtful care during Mom’s stay in the hospital. The urn has been interred at Morrin Cemetery with a small gathering of family and close friends. If friends so desire, donations can be made to the Cancer Research Society. Messages of condolence may be left for the family at www.myalternatives.ca.