Irene was born Jan. 14, 1916, in the family home in Juntura to Deane Goodman and Mattie “Nanna” Hoffman (Moseley) Goodman.
Irene attended grade school in Juntura. Irene and her sister, Mary Gail, could be seen riding their horses to and from school each day. A newspaper article written when Irene was 6 years old, told of how Irene and her friend Elizabeth Woodward could be seen galloping up to the Juntura school on their horses with the grace and ease of old experienced riders. This exemplifies Irene’s spirited outlook on life.
After grade school, Irene attended high school at St. Theresa’s Academy in Boise, Idaho. Irene would catch a two-car train referred to as the “Galloping Goose” from Juntura to Ontario, arriving in time to catch a train to Boise. She would return home (only on the holidays) by catching the evening train from Boise to Ontario, spending the night in the Moore Hotel and catching the “Galloping Goose” the next morning to Juntura.
Irene loved the ranching lifestyle and could often be seen working alongside her father riding and gathering cattle. In June of 1937, she married Drex W. Williams and they spent 74 years together. In 1938, while ranching in Drewsey, the first of two sons, Bill, was born.
In 1940, due to poor health, Irene’s dad requested Drex and Irene move to Juntura and take over his ranching operation. They returned to the home Irene grew up in and continued the ranching tradition established by her father. In 1940, their second son, Gary, was born.
Throughout the following years, Drex and Irene expanded their holdings, adding several ranches and increasing their cattle numbers. Irene was active in 4-H and taught many of the local girls how to knit and sew. In 1966, Irene joined the Daughters of the American Revolution (DAR) rising to the State of Oregon Regent (president). Irene was very active in genealogy and traveled the country (sometimes with grandchildren in tow) researching family history and following up on leads for others. She loved to work in her flower beds and grew the most amazing roses.
In 1970, Drex and Irene sold the main ranching operation to their two sons and began traveling overseas.
Irene was preceded in death by her husband, Drex Williams; parents, Deane and Mattie Goodman; sister, Mary Gail Blackaby; and great-granddaughter, Kelly Smith.
She is survived by her sons, Bill and Gary Williams; eight grandchildren; 17 great-grandchildren; and nine great-great-grandchildren.
Memorial services will be held Friday, April 6, at 2 p.m. at Lienkaemper Chapel in Ontario. Following the memorial service, the family invites friends to join them for lunch at the Ontario Train Depot.
In lieu of flowers, send memorials to the Treasure Valley Scholarship Foundation in the name of Drex and Irene Williams Scholarship. Condolences can be made at: www.lienkaemper-thomason.com