Irene Katherine (Purviance) Cordes, 93, of Centerville, passed away Saturday, June 15, 2013 at the Continental at St. Joseph’s in Centerville.
She was born April 26, 1920 in Springdale, the daughter of James Thornton Purviance and Jennie Catherine (Foresman) Purviance. Irene was the third of seven children, growing up on a farm near Tipton. She graduated from Tipton High School in 1937.
The family moved to Harris, after her graduation in 1937, where her father had an implement and then a feed and farm supply store. Irene worked in Sioux City to help the family.
Life was not all work; she loved to dance, winning a Jitterbug Dance Contest at the Roof Garden in Arnolds Park. In 1941 she met her future husband, Stanley Anton Cordes, at a dance in Sioux Valley, Minn. Stanley was already enlisted in the military and shortly after they met, September of 1941, he was sent to Alaska. He was on duty in the Aleutian Islands when Pearl Harbor was attacked, and the courtship was one of letters. After Stanley was stationed in Texas, he was able to come home on leave. They were married on Oct. 18, 1944 in Harris. When Stanley was discharged from the army, the couple lived briefly in Omaha, Neb. and Rock Island, Ill. where they worked at Martin Bomber and the Rock Island Arsenal.
After the war they moved to Sioux Falls, S.D. to work. It was there that Catherine Ellen Cordes was born on April 1, 1952. Irene always wanted to be a teacher and attended Sioux Falls College, graduating in 1957. She started teaching in her home town of Harris, and taught third grade for 19 years. Irene and Stanley moved to Sioux Falls, S.D. in 1988, and lived there until he died in 2005. Irene then moved to Centerville.
Irene was active in the Harris United Methodist Church and a member of Delta Kappa Gamma. To her, the most important activities involved family. She enjoyed helping her parents, going fishing with parents, siblings and kids, picnics, and playing cards and board games with her family and friends. She loved her daughter and grandchildren and made encouraging and supporting education a priority.
Irene is survived by: her daughter, Catheryn Ellen Cordes Clark, Bruce, of Centerville; grandchildren Nathan Allan Clark of Hilo, Hawaii, Natasha Marie Clark Schnothorst, Terry, of Marshalltown, and Eric Joseph Clark of Dewitt; one great-grandchild Narayan Shen Funk-Clark of Flagstaff, Ariz.; one sister Helen Lucille Purviance Philippe, Joe, of Clark, Wy.; one sister-in-law Ruth Purviance of Kansas City, Mo.; one brother-in-law, Verle Petri of Sugarland, Texas; and numerous nieces and nephews.
She was preceded in death by her husband; her parents; and five siblings: Roger William Purviance, Bethany Maxine Purviance Jedlik, Marie Evelyn Purviance Takash, Jay Oliver Purviance, and Marjorie Jeanette Purviance Petri.
A memorial service will be held 11 a.m. Tuesday, June 18, 2013 at Lange Funeral Home and Crematory with Pastor Kay Singley officiating. A visitation will take place on Tuesday at Lange Funeral Home from 10-11 a.m. Inurnment at Felkner Cemetery west of Centerville will take place at a later date. Memorials have been established to either Hospice of Central Iowa or to the Harris, Iowa United Methodist Church and may be given to Lange Funeral Home and Crematory, 1900 S. 18th St., Centerville, Iowa, 52544. Condolences may be shared online at www.langefh.com.