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Irene Downey

September 19, 1937 - February 18, 2023
Rapid City, MI


Life Story / Obituary


Irene Margaret (Hemmi) Downey, 85, passed peacefully into the loving arms of Jesus at the Munson Hospice House on February 18, 2023, following a brief illness.

Irene, the oldest child of Eric Hemmi and Margaret (McNavits) Hemmi was born in Detroit Michigan. Irene and her husband Bill settled in Northern Michigan in the late 1960s to raise their children, later settling in Rapid City. Irene was an employee of Munson Medical Center for 25 years, where she spent most of her tenure in the medical records department, retiring as a clerk at age 70.

Irene loved traveling throughout the Midwest with her husband, and took pleasure in shopping and dressing up, always hunting down the best deals she could find. She loved decorating her home for every holiday and hosting large family gatherings. Irene loved having her grandchildren over for sleepovers, playing board games like Scrabble with them, watching Jeopardy every night, and spending time with her dearly departed pets, dogs Candy and Izzy, and cats Tom and Jerry.

She is preceded in death by her beloved husband Bill, her parents, her youngest sister Carol, and two of her daughters, Margaret (Greg) Potvin and Elizabeth Downey.

Irene is survived by her siblings, Eric Hemmi, Victor Hemmi, Robert Hemmi, Marie Cutright, Katherine Struebing, Ruth Kuprowski, and Doug (Linda) Hemmi; her children, William Jr., Linda (Mark) Hansen, David (Laura) Downey, and Paul (Tina) Downey; her grandchildren Timothy Potvin, Laura (Brian) Acker, Rebecca (Dan) Seyler, Katie Bedard, Michael Downey, Marsea (Aaron) Walters, Eric Downey, Amanda Downey, Mark Hansen II, William Hansen, and Emma Downey; her great-grandchildren, Tiffany, Brian, Logan, Julia, Makenzi, Logan, Megan, Oliver, Alannah, AJ, Sereniti, Ella, and Addie; and many other family members and friends.

A celebration of life service will be held at Bethlehem Lutheran Church on Saturday, March 18, 2023, at 11 a.m. with visitation one hour prior and light refreshments following the service, with a 2:30 p.m. graveside ceremony at Clearwater Township Cemetery. In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions can be made to Munson Hospice or St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital. Funeral attendees are encouraged to wear purple or red, Irene’s favorite colors.

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