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Irene Maria (Nefzger) Pasker, age 97, died peacefully at the Good Neighbor Home on Monday, October 30, 2023. She was born on June 20, 1926, to John and Clara (Kramer) Nefzger. Irene was educated in the area attending St. Peter and Paul Catholic school in Petersburg, a country school in Strawberry Point and St. Joseph’s Catholic school in Earlville.
Her working career started early in her life working on the family farm. At a very young age she was milking cows by hand and hitching up Belgium horses to a plow so she could plow the fields. Later on, she worked for different families and then she became employed as a store clerk at Bush’s drug store in Earlville. She always had a strong work ethic and a “can do” spirit.
Irene married Albert Pasker on May 18, 1949, at St. Joseph’s Catholic Church in Earlville. Albert and Irene continued doing farm work together after marriage and purchased a farm in rural Manchester in 1955. In 1972, they were named FHA “Farm Family of the Year”. They worked together for 49 years till Albert’s passing on January 11, 1998. There on that farm they raised six children. Irene remained on the farm even after Albert’s death for 74 total years. Upon entering and departing from her farm home each family member found themselves wrapped in her loving arms as no one could escape her warm, caring hugs, especially the grandchildren. Upon leaving the farm, the children always had to drive slowly so she could get to the front window in time to wave goodbye to each of them as they drove past.
She was a longtime member of St. Mary’s Catholic Church in Manchester where she was a member of the Ladies Rosary Society and Catholic Daughters of America. She was also a member of the St. Gerard Study Club, the Neighborhood Club and the ARC.
She enjoyed mowing her own lawn, trimming her trees, working in her garden and in her flowerbeds. Irene loved to dance, and she loved music. She had the gift of playing the piano by ear. In her early years, she sang and played the Hawaiian guitar with a musical group for many house dances. Irene loved to yodel and sing country music like the “Wabash Cannonball”. In her later years she sang with the Assumption Choir at church and with the Swinging Sisters Musical Act for many area organizations. She loved her family, friends, socializing, playing cards, being outdoors, painting, crocheting, and making craft items as well as attending many craft shows. She and Albert very much emulated the characteristics of the Greatest Generation, that of putting God first, being self-reliant, being frugal and having a strong work ethic. Irene will be greatly missed!
Irene is survived by her six children: Benjamin (Peg) Pasker of Delhi, Steve (Kathy) Pasker of Swisher, Diane (Craig) Francois of Manchester, Randy (Ann) Pasker of Cedar Rapids, Tim Pasker of Manchester, and Mary Kay (Mark) Lukes of Cedar Rapids. She is survived by one sister, Nadine Ruley of Oxford Junction, and one sister–in-law, Shirley Nefzger, of Earlville; 14 grandchildren; 12 great-grandchildren; and several nieces and nephews.
She was preceded in death by her husband, Albert; her parents; two sisters, Helen and Lois Nefzger; three brothers Donald, Ralph and Art Nefzger; two sisters-in-law, Rosemary Nefzger and Pat Nefzger; and one brother-in-law, John Ruley.
The Mass will be livestreamed http://blessedtrinitycluster.com/livestream-mass.