Irene Mary (nee Munoz) Weinbeck, 95, of Winsted, died peacefully on Saturday, July 17, surrounded by five of her children, who brought love, laughter and music to her final hours.
Irene was born Oct. 25, 1925, to Flora (Garcia) and Mingo Munoz in Oakdale, CA. She was the 16th of 17 children.
She came from humble beginnings, and began working at a young age picking cotton and fruit along with her siblings in the fields surrounding her community.
A graduate of Oakdale High School, Irene met her husband Benedict Weinbeck of Winsted, while he was working temporarily in California.
After a long-distance romance, they married on Oct. 23, 1960, and she traveled halfway across the country to join her husband in the Midwest.
With her grace and kindness, Irene immediately made friends in Winsted, and she will be remembered for her service and volunteer work in the community.
Ben and Irene owned and operated a movie theater and ice cream shop in Winsted, providing employment and entertainment to their own children, as well as to countless local teens.
Irene was a mother to all, often taking in kids struggling at home, and setting a place for them at the table.
Irene and Ben also donated family land to the town for the city ball fields, now called Weinbeck Sports Complex.
Often the first one on the dance floor, Irene had a love for music, and instilled the love of arts in her children.
She also volunteered at Holy Trinity Church, and was one of the longest serving members of the Women’s Legion Auxiliary, as well as the last charter member of the Lake Mary VFW Auxiliary, each group supporting local veterans.
Irene was preceded in death by Ben, her husband of 49 years; and by daughter, Beverly Guider (John).
She is survived by children: Jason, Henry (Kristin), Julie Weinbeck-Baruch, Maria (Robert Owens), Benny (Darcy), Wyman (Susie), Joe (Kathy), Cheri Espinosa (Albert), and Charlene Lueck; 19 grandchildren, 26 great-grandchildren, and many nieces and nephews.
A Memorial Mass of Christian Burial for Irene will take place Saturday, July 24, at 11 a.m. at Holy Trinity Catholic Church in Winsted.
Father Matthew Wiering will be the celebrant.
Inurnment will take place at Holy Trinity Catholic Cemetery. A luncheon will follow in the church basement.
A visitation will take place Friday, July 23 from 4 to 8 p.m., with a time for sharing starting at 7:30 p.m. at Chilson Funeral Home in Winsted.
Further visitation will take place Saturday morning, July 24, at the church one hour prior to Mass.
Remembrances may be made to Winsted Arts Council, PO Box 177, Winsted, MN 55395.
Per the family wishes, non- vaccinated visitors are required to wear face masks to the visitation and Funeral Mass.
The Chilson Funeral Home in Winsted is serving the family. Online condolences may be made to www.chilsonfuneralhome.com.