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Irene Melander, 94, Fargo, ND died on Friday, Dec. 21, 2018 at Sanford on Broadway, Fargo surrounded by her loving family.
Ida Irene Ohnstad was born Dec. 7, 1924 at Argusville, ND the eldest of three sisters to Severin and Ida (Ziegler) Ohnstad. She attended country school and graduated from high school in Argusville. Irene attended business school in Fargo before starting a job with the IRS. She married James Melander on Dec. 1, 1951 at Grace Lutheran Church in Fargo. They made their home near Argusville where they farmed until buying their own farm near Gardner, ND in 1957. Irene was active in the farm along side her husband. She was a member of the homemaker’s club, American Legion Auxiliary and served as a 4H leader. Irene and Jim wintered in Arizona a few years before Jim passed away in 1987.
She moved into Fargo where she volunteered her time with Lutheran Social Services, becoming known as the “Curtain Lady” for furnishing and installing curtains in the apartments of recently arrived refugees. She maintained a scrapbook of photos of all the families that she helped and kept in touch with them, assisting them when help was needed. She also volunteered at MeritCare and became active in her church. The last few years, Irene lived at One Oak Place, Eventide of Fargo and most recently at Touchmark at Harwood Groves.
Irene’s family wishes to extend appreciation to the staff and caregivers at Touchmark for their skill and kindness while she resided there for the past year.
She is survived by three children, Marlin (Denise) of Chesterfield, VA, Jane Melander of Moorhead, MN and Kevin (Kimberly) of Moorhead, MN; four grandchildren, Jennifer (Deepak) Keshwani, Samuel Melander, Kaleb and Kade Melander; two sisters, Gladys Rust of West Fargo and Darlene (Calvin) Senechal of Bloomington, MN; and many nieces and nephews.
Irene was preceded in death by her parents Severin & Ida and her husband, Jim.
In lieu of flowers, donations appreciated to Grace Lutheran Church, Grace Lutheran School, Lutheran Social Services or a charity of your choice.
Funeral: Saturday, Dec. 29, 2018 at 11 AM at Grace Lutheran Church, Fargo with visitation one hour prior.
Burial: Sunset Memorial Gardens, Fargo.
West Funeral Home & Life Tribute Center