Irene's Life

A life lived fully

Irene was born May 17, 1930, 15 minutes behind her twin sister, Arlene. They were the last two of the six children of John Wesley and Eleanor Marie Southwell. Being born in a humble homestead on the eastern plains of Colorado during the dust-bowl and the great depression was an inauspicious way to start life, but it ultimately helped shape who she was. After moving into the nearby town of Yuma for several years, the family settled in Denver in 1941 where Irene lived most of her life.  
Irene attended Denver East High School and later attended Denver University (DU) where she graduated with a BA degree in Business. Following college, she studied fashion design in Chicago and worked as a flight attendant for United Airlines. After her children were older, she had a successful career as an Interior Designer.  
While in college, Irene met Bob Wogrin through a friend of her sister, Arlene. She and Bob were good friends for several years before he surprised her with a marriage proposal - she surprised him by saying yes. That started a 66-year journey of being best friends, lovers and partners, right to the end. They raised five kids with equal parts respect, discipline and fun.    
Irene was a wonderful mixture of ultimate kindness, empathy and tough-as-nails tenacity when faced with adversity. She was a team player and always was willing to step in when it was needed. She, at times, may have appeared meek but was born with a sensory seeking gene that was always ready to tackle the next adventure. Never one to miss a party, she would book multiple parties in a single day. (or dates, I was told).
Life with Irene was an adventure. Whether it was taking the family on road-trips across the country, getting the first glassy water-ski run of the morning, golfing with her longtime friends, or playing dress-up with her grandchildren, she always embraced it with enthusiasm. She and Bob worked as ski instructors at Geneva Basin for years, mostly so the family could ski together. Through their marriage they designed, built and decorated two unique custom homes for themselves and the family.