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Irene Gregory Paxson

Posted By jim starks On June 15, 2017 @ 8:54 pm In Obituaries | 1 Comment

Irene Paxson, 99, died peacefully on June 15, 2017 at Whitcomb Towers Independent Living. She was born Helen Irene Gregory on July 15, 1917, near Mt. Vernon, Illinois, and grew up in St. Louis, Missouri. An independent young woman, Irene worked as a comptometer operator in Los Angeles, San Francisco, St. Louis, and at the U.S. Treasury in Washington, DC. She met her husband to be, Robert Paxson, shortly after he enlisted in the army following the bombing of Pearl Harbor. Irene also enlisted, and served as a sergeant in the first Women’s Auxiliary Army Corps, later the WACs. She served at a secret Intelligence installation near Washington recording Morse code communications in Europe and North Africa.

After the war, Bob and Irene settled in Benton Harbor along with Bob’s brothers, Gordon and Howard. Bob and Irene bought a place on Lake Michigan north of town and raised their three children there. After forty-one years, Bob and Irene moved to Camelot in St. Joseph, where they celebrated their sixty-third wedding anniversary.

Irene is survived by her son Greg, who lives in St. Joseph; her son Barry and his wife Cindy, of Stevensville, and their two sons, Zachary and Nathan. Her daughter, Chris lives in Santa Fe, New Mexico, and Chris’ daughter Melissa, her husband, James, and grandson, Ryan, live in San Antonio, Texas.

Irene was a bright woman with compassion, integrity and a positive attitude. She was a devoted, loving mother and will be greatly missed by her family.


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Condolence from john chamberlin on July 28th, 2018 7:56 pm

Hello and condolences to the surviving Paxson family members. Quite by chance I came across this obituary for your mother. My name is John Chamberlin. You may recall that my family had a summer home down the road on Greenwood Drive.The house burned down in the early 1960s.

I remember your parents well and remember playing on the beach with Greg, Chris, and Barry. As well as at your house.

My father died in 2003, aged 93 plus and my mother Celeste died in 2015, age 103 plus.

I last visited in the st.joe, Benton Harbor area in August of 2016 on my way back from emptying out my parents house prior to its sale and on my way back to my home in Falls Church Virginia.
It brought back many fond memories, Silver Beach, the House of David, milkshakes at the Whiteway on Route 63, Corbett’s cottages, the A&W in Benton Harbor, and especially bonfires on the beach with the Driftwood washed up by storms.

On Greenwood Drive, even the ruins of the house are gone but the barn and the flagpole by the roadside are still standing. And the scents that I inhaled standing there were every bit as evocative for memories of those long ago Summers as was Proust’s famous madeleine for him.

I hope you will happen on this message. I hope it finds you all well. Regards, John Chamberlin

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