Went to be with the Lord on Saturday, May 4, 2019. Irene was born in Kalamazoo on September 30, 1930, the daughter of William and Mildred (Hoerner) Hitzler. She was a member of Bethel Baptist Church for many years. Irene received her BS degree, Summa Cum Laude, from WMU in 1979; and was a member of Beta Gamma Sigma. She enjoyed reading and gardening; and was involved in many volunteer activities including the American Red Cross and AARP Income Tax Assistance Program. On November 9, 1949, she married Ernest D. Lawson, who preceded her in death on June 28, 2018. Irene is survived by two daughters, Janet (Donald) Church of Brentwood, TN and Patricia (Samuel) Roach of Kalamazoo; three grandchildren, Derek (Katherine) Church, Kevin (Stephanie) Church and Lindsay (David) Brooks; great-grandchildren, Garrison, Lawson, Timothy, Liam, Carter, Parker and Preston; several nieces, nephews and cousins. In addition to her husband, she was preceded in death by an infant son in 1950; her parents, William Hitzler and Mildred Hitzler Tanner; step-father, Rev. Clyde Tanner; and sisters, Evelyn (Vernon) Haas and Ilene (Ancel) Mitchell. Cremation has taken place and there will be no visitation or service. Memorial contributions may be made to the Kalamazoo Gospel Mission, c/o the funeral home. Family and friends may share a condolence message online at www.joldersma-klein.com.