Helen “Irene“ Whitten Chism Colfack, 90, of Grand Island, was welcomed to her heavenly home into the waiting arms of our Lord God on Sept. 14, 2020, with her family at her bedside at Tiffany Square.
A private family gathering will be held at 10 a.m. Saturday, Sept. 19, at Livingston-Sondermann Funeral Home followed by a graveside service at the Grand Island City Cemetery to celebrate her life and lay her to rest. Officiating the service: nephew, Lonnie Whitten, Jr and her granddaughter, Kelly Harnick.
Visitation will be held with family present from 4 to 6 p.m. Friday, Sept 18, at Livingston-Sondermann Funeral Home.
Irene was born March 29, 1930, in Phillipsburg, Kan., to Joy Joseph “JJ” Whitten and Helen Matteson Whitten. She grew up near rural Guide Rock and the surrounding areas. She attended Kearney State Teachers College and then taught for several years in a one-room schoolhouse when she was 16 years old. Some of her students were older, bigger and taller than her.
She was united in marriage to William D. Chism in July 1950, and to this union two children were born. She later married Lloyd Colfack.
Irene was a member of Trinity United Methodist Church. She enjoyed coffee with her neighborhood friends, playing the piano, horse racing at Fonner Park, playing bingo and keno. She was a champion KRGI treasure hunter. Most of all she loved family reunions or get togethers and playing cutthroat Whitten family double deck pinochle.
She was cherished by her family and loved by anyone who knew her.
She is survived by her children, Gary Chism and Shirley Chism Suder (Michael); stepdaughter, Cindy Schlueter (Dennis); stepson, Dale Colfack; and the three lights of her life, her beloved grandchildren, Kelly Harnick (Aaron), Sean Chism and Michael C. Suder; sister-in-law, Barbara Whitten; and many nieces, nephews, other relatives and friends.
She was preceded in death by her parents, JJ and Helen Whitten; spouses, William D. Chism and Lloyd Colfack; brothers, Leonard, Dewain and Gordon Whitten; and daughter-in-law, Diana Lee Chism.
Memorials suggested to the family for later designation.
Condolences can be left at www.livson.com
Sign up to get the most recent local obituaries delivered to your inbox.