Irene May Donovan, 93, of Williston passed peacefully into God's Kingdom on
Wednesday evening, March 6, 2019 surrounded by her family, at CHI Saint Alexius Health Center in Williston, ND.
Irene was born on December 20, 1925 in Glendive, Montana to Edward and Katheryn (Holloway) Polivka. With the exception of an accident which caused burns to her body, Irene enjoyed a joyful childhood. She spoke of fond memories visiting her dad's sister on a farm in Wisconsin.
She graduated from Dawson County High School in1942. Shortly after graduation, she joined her older sister, Wilma, in Portland, Oregon. They shared a room in a private home. Irene joined the workforce as a “Rosie the Riveter” and was hired as an oxy- acetylene torch burner cutting steel on ships at Swan Island during World War II.
She met her future husband, Fred Donovan, while attending a carnival with Wilma. Irene and Fred were married in Vancouver, Washington on October 23, 1944.
They moved back to Glendive, Montana where their first child, Terry, was born in 1946. Their daughter, Tamara, came into the world in 1949 after they had moved back to Salem, Oregon. The family returned to Montana, where they remained until 1958. During the time spent in Glendive, Irene took a job as a clerk with F.W. Woolworth.
May of 1958 brought another move for the family to Williston, ND. Irene transferred to the Woolworth store in town and continued there until she retired. She was the absolute best clerk and loved working with people. After Woolworths she was employed at B &B Drug Store. When the gift store, Pro- Re- Nata, opened, she was a natural! Irene was a collector and had a great talent in arranging items to show off their beauty!
Just before she decided to retire, again, she spent a short time at True Value Hardware and worked in the old Hedderich building. In 1986 she started taking care of children in her home and loved every minute of that time. After her time of watching children, Irene filled in at Quiltmakins where, once again, she used her love of working with the public and her eye for design.
In early sixties Irene and Fred rode on a Harley to the Sturgis Motorcycle Rally. They were both members of the Sundowners Motorcycle Club. She was quite brave and adventurous!
Irene was a very active woman and involved in various organizations throughout her lifetime. Some of her favorites were: Cub Scout Leader, Campfire Girls Leader, Bible studies, teaching Sunday School, Ladies Aid and various other church functions.
She enjoyed spending hours outside in her yard making it beautiful. Irene also loved bringing old furniture and various objects “back to life”. When she was younger, Irene sketched cartoon characters and was very good! She continued to “doodle” throughout her lifetime. She loved doing various art and craft projects with her grandchildren. Irene loved her family and the time spent with them. She touched the hearts of so many and will be remembered for her kindness and being “that spunky little woman”!
Irene is survived by her husband, Fred Donovan, Williston, son, Terry Donovan(Verna) Hillsboro, OR., daughter, Tamara Eide (Claire) Williston, sister, Wilma Hagquist (Holiday Island, Arkansas), five grandchildren, Teresa Donovan, Port Orchard, WA., Jeanie Moss (Chris) Hillsboro, OR., Carl Eide (Heidi), Williston, ND., Caleb Eide, Williston, ND, five great-grandchildren, five great-great-grandchildren.
Preceded in death by parents, Edward and Katheryn Polivka, brothers, Jack Polivka, Bob Polivka, sister, K-Ann Kron.