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WOOD, Irene Mary (nee Dunnigan)

November 30, 1945 – Edmonton, Alberta
June 20, 2019 – Calgary, Alberta

Irene passed away peacefully on Thursday, June 20, 2019 with beloved partner Ron holding her hand.

Born in November 1945 in Edmonton, AB, she grew up in a large family with eleven siblings. She went to university in Nova Scotia and became a teacher. Her first job was in Cranbrook, BC, where she taught for two years and then at St. Anthony’s School in Drayton Valley, AB, for the next thirty years. She retired in 2001 and moved to Calgary. She joined many groups when she moved to the city. Irene loved to dance, sing and travel. And that is exactly what she did in her retirement. She also volunteered in the community and spent time with her grandchildren. She loved watching them play sports and was a huge fan of any team they were on. Her cheering and passions in life were inspirational to many. Her travels took her to so many places, most recently there was Iceland and Ireland with Ron. I think she had a way of getting Ron out of his comfort zone and they also spent a month in Spain and Portugal. In 2010, she went on a European adventure with her son Kevin which involved trains breaking down in the Czech Republic on a cold winter night, a dodgy hotel in Austria, and many beer tours. Her other adventures included going to Africa with her brother, Joe, cruises to Hawaii and Greece with groups of friends, and several trips to Europe. Not to mention the road trips into the States and ski trips where many great times were had. Hers was a life lived fully.

Irene was loved and we will miss her deeply.

She is survived by her devoted partner and best friend, Ron Lalonde, of Calgary, AB; her two children, Sheila Thompson (Chad) of Calgary, and Kevin Wood of Red Deer, AB; Ron’s children, Tammy Austin of Calgary, and Mark Lalonde of San Francisco, CA. She leaves her grandchildren, Emily and Jack Thompson, and Hunter Austin; and seven siblings, Tom Dunnigan, Bill Dunnigan (Jan), Dick Dunnigan (Jan), Bob Dunnigan (Maureen), Evelyn Dunnigan, Kathleen Elliott, Ron Dunnigan (Linda); sisters-in-law Adele Dunnigan, Marion Dunnigan, Sharon Buchan-Dunnigan; brother-in-law John Paul Pronovost; and many nieces and nephews. She was predeceased by her former husband Don Wood; her parents, John and Vera Dunnigan; her brothers, Ed Dunnigan, John Dunnigan and Joe Dunnigan; her sister Margaret Pronovost, her sisters-in-law, Sharon Dunnigan and Jacquie Dunnigan; and nephew Darren Wood.

Funeral Mass will be Celebrated at St. Joseph’s Catholic Church (640 – 19th Avenue N.W., Calgary, AB) on Saturday, June 29, 2019 at 1:00 p.m. Reception to follow in the Church hall.

If friends so desire, in lieu of flowers, Irene wanted memorial donations to The John and Vera Dunnigan Education Scholarship Fund at Catholic Education Services, Assistant Superintendent of Education Planning (9807-106th St. N W, Edmonton, Alberta T5K 1C2) or to a charity of your choice. Condolences may be forwarded through

In living memory of Irene Wood, a tree will be planted at Fish Creek Provincial Park by McINNIS & HOLLOWAY FUNERAL HOMES, Crowfoot, 82 CROWFOOT CIRCLE NW, CALGARY, AB T3G 2T3, Telephone: 403-241-0044.

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Condolence Messages

  1. Sharon Marie, Tim, Karl, Marie Mavko

    Your mother is the essence of love, kindness, friendship, laughter, and light that spans all planes of existence.
    I will be forever grateful to have had such an amazing Aunt, she is a true inspiration. Irene is a wonderful woman who made a difference in so many lives. I am blessed to have had her as part of my life. I can only imagine the celebration on the other side of the veil. We will be with you all in our thoughts but unable to attend the funeral. Sending much love and light.

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  2. Evelyn Dunnigan

    Irene enriched my life in so many ways. I am so grateful for memories of fun ski trips, family gatherings and great music on long road trips. I am so sad Hunter, Jack and Emily did not get enough time with her. I will be with you all in spirit to celebrate an inspirational life although I cannot attend the funeral. Love and hugs to all who will miss her.

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  3. Barb Marquardt (nee Dunnigan)

    Sending love and light. Our collective hearts are filled with sorrow but know the joy Irene brought to this world and all who crossed her path.

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  4. Thomas Dunnigan

    Irene was the best; she made everyone welcome with her great smile. She always had a laughter in her life. Kind and thoughtful for everyone she meet. Her time on this earth was lived fully. I will miss her so. My thoughts and prayers are with you. I’m so sorry I cannot make it to celebrate her great life. Peace and love

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  5. Peggy Fairfield

    Irene was such a loving woman do much like her mother Hope the song for her celebration will be gentle Women because that is what she was so caring will be greatly missed hugs and love Peggy and Fin Fairfield

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  6. Isabel van Essen

    Dear family of Irene;

    I am saddened to hear of Irene’s recent passing, and of her long struggle with cancer. It has been a long time since we’ve seen each other, but, as cousins, we had a great childhood in the same neighborhood and spent many great times together which usually ended up at one or the other’s homes for dinner. Family was very important to both of us and I’m pleased to know that she had such a loving family of her own.

    My condolences to all of you who shared your lives, and your love with Irene.

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  7. As long time friends of Tom & the late Jacquie Dunnigan, we send our deepest sympathy to Irene’s family. Love and prayers

    from Helen & Ken Beckie

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