It is with great sadness to advise that on Tuesday, May 11, 2021, with her family by her side, the angels have taken our mother, Irene (Rena) Doris McHale, to her final resting place at the age of 91 years.
Sadly predeceased by her husband George McHale, her parents Herman and Mary Mongovius, and 10 brothers and sisters. Irene leaves to mourn her four children and families, her last sibling Lorre Clancy, sisters-in-law Flo McHale and Ethel Mongovius, as well as numerous nieces and nephews and many lifelong friends.
Irene (Rena) McHale (nee Mongovius) was born during the depression on April 17, 1930 near Rosthern, Saskatchewan the third youngest of 12 siblings. At an early age, Irene displayed theatrical talent and performed in plays and musicals, often creating costumes out of crepe paper. Irene’s family of 14 were very poor but very musical; her father and brothers played and sang in the army band. Irene’s mother had her hands full with 12 children. She would repurpose clothing for her family sewing on a treadle machine by coal oil lamp.
Irene ventured out west to Alberta where she met her first husband Bruce Nicholson while working in a bakery, then as an office clerk. Together they had four children, Marlene Kantz (Brian); Doug Nicholson (Susan), Kerry Nicholson (Colleen), and Jaynel Nicholson (Morris Haw); five grandchildren, Nicki Skinner (Mike), Nathan Nicholson (Becca), Michelle Nicholson (Sean Crespo), Brent Nicholson, (Kara) and Mandy Nicholson, as well as eight great grandchildren, Taylor, Austin, Jack, Alexia, Lukas, Deegan, Davin, and Atlee. Irene and Bruce moved their family to Penticton in the 1960’s where Irene became involved in local theatre and the Glengary Figure Skating Club while working at the R.B. White Clinic.
Irene eventually moved to Coquitlam where she married her second husband George McHale. Irene worked in retail and won a trip to Mazatlán, Mexico in a mall costume contest. After retirement Irene’s love for live performances, theatre, and dancing saw her deeply involved in the Senior’s Centre, volunteering at Summer Games, Canadian Figure Skating and World Figure Skating Championships, theatre events, and also the church choir. She was one of the "Jazzy Tappers” dance troupe. Irene and the troupe performed at various functions including the Hats Off Parade and on stage at the PNE. Irene also loved playing the piano, especially duets.
Irene moved to Penticton in 2015 to be closer to family and enjoyed five wonderful years at Athens Creek Lodge forging new friends and participating in many on-site recreational activities. In 2021, with failing health, Irene moved to Dr. Andrews Pavilion Extended Care in Summerland where she passed.
Irene’s high spirit and zest for life and people touched the lives of all who knew her. She had a beautiful soul and could light up a room with her infectious smile and warm personality; she was such a sweet, generous, and caring woman. Anyone who entered her home was always fed with care packages to take home. Irene had a fierce will and determination that is to be admired. When she set her mind to something, she would give it her all and never gave up easily as she displayed with her final time here with us. She truly was one of a kind, the best kind.
Mom you are greatly missed, the memories we have shared, your gentleness and giving, your loyalty and caring, our world will never be the same without you.
We would like to send our heartfelt thanks to the Nurses, Doctors, and staff at the Dr. Andrews extended care Pavilion for providing such loving care to our mother.
Due to COVID-19, a family Celebration of Life will be held at a later date.
In lieu of flowers, memorial tributes may be made to the South Okanagan Medical Foundation, for the Dr. Andrew Extended Care Facility by online donation: https://sosmedicalfoundation.com/giving or by mail to 550 Carmi Avenue, Penticton, V2A 3G6.
Lovingly your family.