Irene Bassett, age 94, of Winnebago, passed away surrounded by family, on Sunday, February 16, 2020 at Heartland Senior Living- Parker Oaks in Winnebago. Visitation will be Friday evening from 5-7 PM at Patton Funeral Home in Blue Earth. Mass of Christian Burial will be Saturday, February 22, 2020 at 11 AM at Saints Peter and Paul Catholic Church in Blue Earth with Father Brian Mulligan officiating. Additional visitation one-hour prior. Inurnment will be at Calvary Cemetery in Blue Earth at a later date. Patton Funeral Home is entrusted with arrangements. www.PattonFH.com
Irene Kathryn Oelke was born October 26, 1925 on a farm southeast of Blue Earth, to Edward and Leone (Himber) Oelke. She experienced an idyllic childhood living in the country, surrounded by nature and befriended by the horses and cats.
Irene attended country school and later graduated from Blue Earth High School in 1943. She lost her mother at the age of fourteen which transformed her world and instilled in her a deep resilience and perseverance. She worked briefly in the Twin Cities and returned to Blue Earth, where she met an old classmate, George Bassett who she later married on December 27, 1949 at Saints Peter and Paul Catholic Church in Blue Earth. They recently celebrated 70 happy years of marriage.
Irene and George lived and raised their family at Riverside Farm north of Blue Earth. She was an active member of the Catholic Daughters of America and the American Legion Auxiliary. She loved life on the farm and in turn the farm provided years of fulfillment, beauty and gratitude. Irene deeply loved her family, the land, and her community.
She enjoyed flower gardening, liked horses and was an avid sports fan, especially for the Minnesota Twins. She also loved poetry and was an incredible baker, as many have come to crave her cinnamon rolls.
Irene is survived by her best friend and loving husband, George; their children, George (Nancy) Bassett, Michele (David) Stahlmann, Sam (Michelle) Bassett, and Suzanne (Paul) Hofrenning; 12 grandchildren, Angela, Dan, Valerie, Frank, Nathan, Elizabeth, Jacqueline, Susanna, Mitchel, Philip, Matthew, and Lillian; 8 great-grandchildren, Noah, Spencer, Jenna, Julia, Eloise, Gemma, Georgia, and Korben; many nieces, nephews, and other relatives and friends.
She was preceded in death by her parents; brothers, Leo (Thelma), and Wayne (Teresa); and son, Mitchel Bassett.
Irene’s family wishes to thank the incredible staff at United Hospital District Hospice and Parker Oaks Senior Living for their loving care to Irene in her illness.