Irene Elizabeth Shovelain, age 90, of Monticello, passed away peacefully Sunday, July 12, 2020, at CentraCare Health in Monticello.
She was born May 5, 1930, in Biscay, the oldest of 10 children, to William and Frances (Podrasky) Kostecka. The Kostecka family made their home in Glencoe in 1935.
Irene began her career as a phone operator in Glencoe, and then became a nurses aide at Lowry Rest Home and Monticello/Big Lake Hospital throughout her career. She also was a homemaker and house cleaner.
Irene Kostecka and Elroy Shovelain were joined in holy marriage at St. George Catholic Church in Glencoe Aug. 23, 1949. God blessed their marriage with five children.
Irene was very proud of her five children: James, Janice, Judy, Jerome, and Jeanne. She always tried to make everyone feel good about themselves by giving encouraging words and making things positive in a negative situation. She always put everyone on a pedestal, especially her children. She truly was the meaning of love.
She was always caring and giving, always leaving her friends and family with a little treat. Irene was a dedicated caregiver to her mother-in-law for many years. After her husband Elroy’s death, her daughter Janice cared for her for the next 17 years at home.
Irene’s love for her children extended to her sons-in-law and daughters-in-law, whom she treated like her own children. Irene was the person to talk to when having a bad day.
Irene loved seeing her grandchildren and great-grandchildren.
She also enjoyed playing cards, listening to Janice play the accordion, word search puzzles, and Kentucky Fried Chicken. She was extremely proud of her Bohemian heritage.
She was preceded in death by her husband, Elroy; parents, William and Frances Kostecka; siblings, Beatrice, William, Ray; son-in-law, Colin Fehn; great-grandson, Donovan; and great-granddaughter, Tiffany.
Irene is survived by her children, James (Marie) Shovelain, Jerome (Kathleen) Shovelain, Janice (Jerry) Shovelain, Judy (Tino) Cortez, Jeanne Fehn; 13 grandchildren; 21 great-grandchildren; two great-great-grandchildren; siblings, Donald, JoAnn Victorian, Doris Ruffcorn, David, Charles, Roger; and many other relatives, and friends.
Irene made God’s unconditional love well-known to all around her. She had a strong faith, which brought peace to all around her.
Mass of Christian burial took place Friday, July 17, 2020 at 3 p.m., with visitation one hour prior at Church of St. Henry in Monticello with her Godson and grandson, Father Paul Shovelain, as Celebrant. Burial followed at St. Henry’s Cemetery in Monticello.
A special thank you to CentraCare Health in Monticello for the wonderful care Irene received.
In lieu of flowers, memorials are preferred to the Church of St. Henry in Monticello.
Serving the family is The Peterson Chapel St. Michael-Albertville Funeral Home, 763-497-5362, www.thepetersonchapel.com.
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