Irene K. McConnell

Wednesday, February 22, 2017 5:59 pm

Irene K. McConnell, 96, of Decorah, died Monday, Feb. 6, 2017, at Aase Haugen Senior Services in Decorah. Memorial Mass of Christian Burial is at 10:30 a.m. Saturday, Feb. 25, at St. Benedict Catholic Church in Decorah, with Rev. Phil Gibbs officiating. Inurnment is in St. Bridget’s Catholic Cemetery in rural Bluffton. Visitation is from 4 to 7 p.m. Friday, Feb. 24, at Fjelstul Funeral Home in Decorah, and Saturday beginning at 9:30 a.m., one hour before the service, at the church. There is a Catholic Daughters Rosary at 4:30 p.m. Friday at the funeral home. In lieu of flowers, please send memorials to Aase Haugen Senior Services, St. Benedict’s Capital Campaign, or St. Bridget’s Catholic Cemetery. Fjelstul Funeral Home in Decorah is serving the family. Online condolences may be made at In lieu of flowers, please send memorials to Aase Haugen Senior Services, St. Benedict’s Capital Campaign, or St. Bridget’s Catholic Cemetery.

Irene Kathern (Snitker) McConnell was born Sept. 28, 1920, in Frankville, to John Snitker and Della (Ewing) Snitker. She was the fourth of six children. She was educated at Trout Run School located at Siewer Springs. She was united in marriage to Melvin Patrick McConnell June 10, 1939, at the rectory in St. Bridget Catholic Church in Bluffton. They were blessed with six children: Thomas, Mary, Jane Ellen, Kathleen, David and Maureen. They resided on the McConnell family farm and Irene was very active in the farming operation for many years. She was known around the neighborhood for her cooking and sewing abilities. After retiring from the farm, she began a new career in 1981 at Aase Haugen Home in dietary. She chose to retire again in 1993, to do daycare for her two youngest grandchildren. Irene moved to Decorah after the death of her husband in 1994. In 2010 she began residence at Aase Haugen Home.

Irene is survived by five children: Mary (Dennis) Cook of Waterloo, Jane Ellen (Raphael) Murray of Nevada, Kathleen (James) Simon of Clive, David (Brenda) McConnell of Decorah and Maureen (Ervin Jr.) Yahr of Decorah; 15 grandchildren: Michael (Melissa) McConnell, Overland Park, Kan.; Denise (Mikel) Schulta, Kearney, Mo.; Timothy (Brigid) Cook, Oklahoma City, Okla.; Suzanne (Jeff) Henkle, Kansas City, Mo.; Patrick Cook, Chicago, Ill.; Erin (Steve) Seals, Des Moines; Shana (Joel) Wiseman, Chicago, Ill.; Ryan (Megan) Murray, Louisville, Colo.; Ellen (Evan) Borst, Wichita, Kan.; Benjamin (Danielle) Roling; Kearney, Mo.; Emily (Anthony) Zingale, Clive; Regan (Tara) McConnell, Decorah; Sara (Zach) Bulman, Decorah; Kaitlin (fiancé Joel Pohland) Yahr, Little Falls, Minn.; and Ervin “Will” Yahr III, Decorah; 21 great-grandchildren, and one great-great grandson.

Irene was preceded in death by her parents; her husband, Melvin, Sept. 5, 1994; her son, Thomas, Oct. 11, 2007; one sister, Esther (Snitker) Waters; four brothers: Milton Snitker, Loren Snitker, Layton Snitker and Ralph Snitker; and by her special friend, Theodore Hovey.

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