March 30, 1932 – December 5, 2019
Irene was born the third of four daughters on the family farm near Bethune, Saskatchewan. She was a country girl at heart, and no matter where her travels took her during her life, she always felt a deep affinity for the people, her family and the land of her childhood. Learning the grace of hospitality at an early age from her parents, George and Catherine Siegmeth, Irene’s heart, arms and home were open always to the many people who entered into her world. She approached her relationships without guile and was always willing to assume the best of the people she encountered.
Irene was a devoted wife. Married in 1954, to John Martin of Portage la Prairie, Irene embarked on a life-long journey of being a supportive partner in a marriage that would span the better part of seven decades. While John’s career would take the couple back and forth across Canada, Irene always approached their new beginnings with a sturdy heart and a sense of adventure. She was her husband’s consummate co-pilot and navigator through a lifetime full of journeys, giving freely of her unconditional love, friendship and happy heart.
Irene was an extraordinary mother and grandmother. As a parent, Irene always believed in and supported the aspirations and dreams of her children, consoling them in times of difficulty and celebrating their many accomplishments. Blessed with ears that listened and a heart that did not judge, Irene guided her two boys from childhood into adulthood, reminding them always to embrace virtue, have open hearts and display empathy for their fellow human beings.
Irene embraced her role as grandmother with relish. From day one of their lives, Irene was an active and loving influence, enriching their existence with balanced nurturing, random acts of kindness and a life-time full of practical knowledge. It is heartwarming to know that skills passed to her by her own mother, like making dill pickles and baking pies, shall live on.
Irene was a modern career woman. Setting out on her own as a young woman, Irene established herself as a book keeper and office manager in a 40 year career that survived the demands of marriage, parenthood and numerous re-locations. Always respected by the people who employed her for her skill and dedication, Irene was always missed as a family member upon her departure.
Irene was a volunteer. Retiring to Nanaimo in 1986, John and Irene found themselves enjoying the ocean and being active members in the Lantzville Legion. This vibrant community provided her with many deep friendships, and she in turn gave freely of her time and spirit. Taking her turn at leadership Irene enjoyed working on the branch executive, working the poppy campaign and numerous committees.
Irene is survived by her husband John Martin of Nanaimo, her eldest son Terry and his wife Loris, her son Bruce and his two children, Sean Martin (Taleah) and Sasha Martin, and her great granddaughter Olivia (daughter of Sean and Taleah). She is also survived by her three sisters, Leona Milbury, Bernice Moltz and Mildred Kistner and her husband Leonard. In addition, she is survived by numerous nieces, nephews and cousins in both the Seigmeth and Martin families.
To all the friends and family who will mourn Irene’s passing, we thank you for enriching her life, and we request you consider completing a small act of random kindness in her memory.
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