Irene Skeenum was born on July 7, 1941 to Gabe and Annie (Stick) Lewis. Mom was a very loving, strong and a resilient individual. She dedicated her life to her children, grandchildren and her chapans. She was always there when we needed her. Mom was a hard worker and was always willing to lend a helping hand to those in need. She was never one to say ‘No’. She made sure that every one of us was taken care of and never went without. In her younger years, she worked along side our dad, whether it was baling, fencing or cutting brush, mom instilled the importance of culture to her children. We would travel to different ceremonies such as Sun dance, chicken dance, horse dance, pow wow and round dances. In her younger years, almost every weekend, she would travel the winter months to attend a round dance no matter the distance. Her health slowed down her ability to attend these ceremonies. When we were young, mom would take us out berry picking. We would later have a picnic before heading back home. This was always an adventure that we looked forward to as a family. Mom loved to sew. Our dad had taught her how to sew a canvas tent. It wasn’t long before she was able to master this skill. A canvas tent was typically sewn in one day. Mom also loved to make bannock. One would often find her making bannock for family and friends. Mom, you have left a huge void within our hearts. You were the pillar that held us together. Our strength when we needed it. You were our nourishment, our rejuvenation. You were our foundation. Continue on your journey Mom, as your work here is done. We love you and will miss you dearly.
Irene was predeceased by: her husband, Harry Skeenum (Oct 28, 1979); her common law partner, Charlie Waskewitch (Sept 12, 2007); her parents, Gabe Lewis (Apr 24, 1994) and Annie Lewis (Nov 9, 1956); her sister, Florence (Alice) Dillon (Apr 9, 2009); her grandchildren, Sarita Skeenum (May 9, 1991) and Brandon P. McAdam (Aug 10/2000). Her great grandchildren, Renesmea Skeenum (Feb 25,2012) and Brock Dillon (June 1, 2017).
She is survived by: her children, Gertrude (Melvin) Skeenum-Stone, Carl Skeenum, Erwin (Charlotte) Skeenum, Debbie (Alvin) Skeenum, Pamela (Myles) Skeenum-Rain, Lyle Skeenum, Helena (Alden) Skeenum, Jennifer Skeenum, Judy (Lance) Skeenum, Andrea (Edward) Skeenum and her babies, Jacob, Isaiah and Sheldon Chief Jr.; 43 grandchildren, 40 great grandchildren and 2 great great grandchildren; her siblings, Burton (Bernice) Lewis, Eric (Mary) Lewis, Eddie Wesley (Stella) Lewis, Joan Lewis, Dorothy (Noel) Cook, Wallace (Dolly) Fox, Beatrice (Ron) Quinney and Gwen (Richard) Fox-Tootoosis; her daughters in law, Ruth Chalifoux, Wendy Cook and Kathleen Half.
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