At the family's request memorial contributions are to be made to those listed below. Please forward payment directly to the memorial of your choice.
Christian Assembly of God
7835 Lovers Lane
Portage, MI 49002
Below is the contact information for a florist recommended by the funeral home.
Life Story / Obituary
With ways all her own, Irene Morrical was beloved by all who knew her. Her wonderful sense of humor brightened the days of many, and although she could be quite strong-willed, there wasn’t anything Irene wouldn’t do for those she loved. Devoted to her family and dedicated to her faith, Irene lived with a nurturing spirit. Close to her heart was the family she held dear, and in them she found the greatest joy.
There was much to celebrate in the lives of Frederick and Mary (Saxe) Dontje as they rang in the New Year with the birth of their little girl, Irene born on January 1, 1925. Born and raised on their family farm in Manton, Michigan, it was a time of rapid growth in the U.S. as the Chrysler Corporation was founded and baseball was America’s favorite pastime.
The third of eventually six children, Irene grew up alongside her siblings, Majettia, Bernard, Paul, and Dick. Irene experienced a childhood typical of her generation, although times were lean during the years of the Great Depression. Having attended the local schools, Irene and her family moved to the Kalamazoo area when she was in her teens. While living in Kalamazoo, Irene went to Kalamazoo Central School until her tenth-grade year.
Like all young girls, Irene had hopes of a bright future, although there was someone special she continued to think about often, and his name was Russell Morrical. She had known Russell for a number of years and had met him back in Manton when he came to their farm to buy a hog. Their family farms were not far from each other, and before long the two had become quite smitten.
Irene’s dreams were realized on October 4, 1942, when she and Russell exchanged vows of marriage in Ohio. In what would become 51 years of a deep, abiding love, they stood hand-in-hand through life’s many challenges and triumphs.
As a couple, Irene and Russell were overjoyed to welcome the addition of two daughters into their lives with the births of Mary Ellen and Sandra “Kay”. Through the years their family would grow to include four well-loved grandchildren, seven dear great-grandchildren, and the blessing of one great-great-grandchild. Irene considered herself blessed in many ways as she lovingly tended to the needs of her family, helping them in countless ways.
Irene made a good home for Russell and their girls. She was a great cook, and they loved every meal she prepared. Irene took pride in her delicious gravy that everyone loved and she liked making fruit cakes, especially during the holidays. In her free time, Irene found enjoyment knitting and crocheting, and her glorious flower garden was a testament to the love and care she put into it. Years ago, Irene was an active member of the Women of the Moose where she liked getting together with friends. And when it came to music, Irene preferred the sounds of country and gospel.
Traveling was something Irene and Russell very much enjoyed together. Over the years they traveled to every state in the continental U.S. seeing the sights and making endless memories along the way. Following Russell’s death in 1993, Irene continued her passion for travel. She went on to visit the beautiful states of Hawaii and Alaska, and a trip to Puerto Rico with her family made for memorable times. For over 25 years, Irene wintered in Arizona to escape the harsh Michigan winters. She counted Arizona as one of her favorites places to be as she so loved taking in the beauty of the picturesque mountains.
Irene absolutely loved being surrounded by those she loved and adored. Her great sense of humor will never be forgotten, and her independent nature was something her family came to appreciate about her. Even into her later years, Irene’s strong-willed demeanor always found her getting the last word! Although she slowed down, nothing brought Irene more happiness than welcoming those she loved into her arms. Just a week before she passed away, she was delighted to have her entire family at her side. Dearly missed and fondly remembered, Irene’s love lives on.
Irene A. Morrical, of Portage, passed away on Monday, September 12, 2016, at the age of 91. Irene is survived by two daughters: Mary Ellen (Douglas) Riggs, of Plainwell; Sandra “Kay” (Harry) Adler, of Schoolcraft; four grandchildren: Jim Riggs, Scott (Kitty) Adler, David (Shanon) Adler, William (Peggy) Riggs; seven great-grandchildren: Mason Adler, Patrick Riggs, Lydia Riggs, Riley Adler, Tiffani, Brittani, and Whittani Schidecker and one great-great-grandchild, Ryder Heemstra. She is also survived by two siblings: Dick Dontje, of CO and Rosemary Elaine Dontje, of CA. Irene was preceded in death by her husband of 51 years, Russell; and siblings: Majettia Huntoon, Bernard Dontje, and Paul Dontje.
A funeral service will be held on Friday, September 16th at 2:00 pm at Life Story Funeral Home, 5975 Lovers Lane, Portage (269-344-5600). The family will receive friends one hour prior to the service. Burial will be at Mount Ever-Rest Memorial Park. Please visit Irene’s web page at www.lifestorynet.com where you can share a favorite memory or photo of her and sign her online guestbook. Those who wish may make contributions to Kairos Dwelling, American Diabetes Association, and/or Christian Assembly of God.