Irene Marjorie Crook was born May 24th, 1926 in Vancouver to Cyrill and Rosalie Cousineau. She was the youngest of 14 children. Her parents passed away while she was young so she was surrounded and raised by her extended family of siblings. Family and friends remained a very important part of Irene's life. On April 30th, 1949 she married the love of her life James Bryan Crook. They had one child, a son, James Bryan Crook Jr. on Feb. 4th, 1952. Jim and Irene often hosted friends and family over to their house for a sing a long or a game of cards. Irene loved to travel which she did with friends and family. Jim loved to spend time with his garden or his cabin at Loon Lake. It was at Loon Lake where Jim and Irene forged many happy memories with friends and family. It was here where the infamous "church group" gatherings and "Thanksgiving Day' weekends occurred. A cup of tea, a rousing game of cards or crib is what Irene enjoyed. She was fun loving and enjoyed being a social butterfly.
Irene was at her best helping others. She worked several years for the Health Units in Vancouver. It was here where she also met many lifelong friends. Her service to others often extended beyond her job. She is often remembered by others in the community of New Westminster for doing errands for others when sick or in need.
On Dec. 28th, 1985 her son Jim married Cathy Bauer. Two grandsons, Brodie James and Kevin John came along. They were definitely the "apples" of both Jim Sr. and Irene's life. Many happy family memories can be remembered sitting around Irene's much played "player piano" or spending time at the family's favorite place, Loon Lake. Jim and Irene, Cathy's parents, John and Anna Marie, as well as Irene's brother, Vic ended up spending their golden years living in the same apartment building in New Westminster, Sterling Place. Irene spent many happy years embracing new friends and family. Despite losing her long time love, Jim in 1999. Irene remained active walking everywhere in her community. Century House, lunches and friends, helping others, making her much revered Nanaimo Bars always kept her busy!
Irene spent a long and fulfilling life, unfortunately, she suffered from a mental health condition for much of it. Through the help of some excellent health professionals she was able to keep her bipolar condition in check. She was a strong advocate in supporting her own mental health as well as various organizations within the community. It was not until her last few years that Irene lost her fight in maintaining her bipolar condition. Although she was supported by many excellent health care professionals and placed in a very good facility focused on mental health care of the elderly, Irene was not able to stabilize her condition for long. On Dec. 28th died quietly surrounded by her family. She finally obtained the peace she fought so hard to regain in her final few years. "Good night our sweet Irene."