Irene Catherine Petsche, 85, of McGregor, Iowa, died Sunday, Aug. 20, 2017, at Great River Care Center, in McGregor, Iowa. A funeral service was Saturday, Aug. 26 with a funeral mass at Our Lady of Grace, in Seneca, Wis., officiated by Fr. Carlos Borja, followed by a graveside service at St. Joseph’s Catholic Cemetery, in Elkader, Iowa. Irene’s cousin, Fr. John Moser, conducted the family graveside service. Pallbearers were Alex and Ryan Petsche, Adam and Ben Hensley, Alex Schaefers and Tyler Rochleau. Arrangements were handled by Thornburg-Grau Funeral Home, in Prairie du Chien, Wis.
Irene was born May 15, 1932, in Clayton, Iowa, the daughter of Casper and Mary (Luscher) Schaefers. She grew up on the family farm and attended school at Garnavillo Catholic School. In 1957, Irene married Elwyn John Petsche and together they raised five children on their rural Elkader, Iowa, farm.
Besides working on the family farm, Irene worked at Swiss Valley Farms, in St. Olaf, Iowa, from 1978 through 1999. She later provided a cleaning service for homes and businesses in the Elkader area. Irene was passionate about her religion and also enjoyed baking and gardening. Her clover leaf rolls were a family favorite and were eagerly anticipated at all family gatherings. Irene had a big heart, was a hard worker, and was happiest when she was helping others. She was a member of St. Joseph’s Catholic Church, in Elkader, for many years. Later in life, she attended Our Lady of Grace, in Seneca, Wis.
In August 2013, while recovering from a back injury, Irene moved in with her son Albert’s family in Colona. She greatly enjoyed walking around the neighborhood in all kids of weather. In June 2014, Irene moved to McGregor, Iowa.
Irene is survived by her children, Evelyn Petsche, of Elkadare, Iowa; Albert (Jean) Petsche, of Colona; Leonard Petsche, of Jefferson, Ga.; Julie (Jack) Hensley, of Savage, Minn.; and Carl (Beth) Petsche, of Volga, Iowa; grandsons, Alex and Ryan Petsche and Adam and Ben Hensley; her siblings, Leo Schaefers and Lucille “Sally” Schaefers, of McGregor, Iowa; and Helen Schaefers, of Dubuque, Iowa. She was preceded in death by her husband in 1981; her parents; her brothers, Ray and Eldo Schaefers; and sisters, Betty, Anna May and Bernice Schaefers.