Irene was born Jan. 4, 1918, at Catoosa, Okla., the daughter of Willis Grant Black and Elizabeth Marie (McClellan) Black. Irene grew up in Oklahoma and moved to Kansas as a young lady.
On July 19, 1940, Irene married Charles Elmo Heckman at Sterling, Kan. They made their home in Uniontown, Kan., where she worked as a waitress before driving a school bus along with her husband. Irene also worked at the Key overall factory in Fort Scott, Kan.
When Elmo went to serve his country in World War II, Irene lived in Ellinwood, Kan., and worked as a waitress there until she was transferred to Manitou, Colo., to work as a hotel clerk. When Elmo returned from the war, they made their home in Uniontown. Irene worked as a telephone operator before becoming the manager of the grocery department at Heckman & Son Grocery Store & Locker. She also worked as a cook for the Uniontown school.
In 1955, they adopted their daughter, Meredith Maxine (Heckman) Rogers. Elmo, Irene and Meredith moved to Bronson in 1964, while he worked as a rural mail carrier until being transferred to Moran in 1968, where Irene worked as a clerk at Roberson Grocery Store.
Irene was a member of the Moran United Methodist Church and a member and a past-president of the Moran American Legion Auxiliary, Jones-Hardy Post No. 385.
She worked to organize the Moran Girl Scouts and served as leader for seven years. Irene was also a member of the Ladies Letter Carriers Auxiliary.
Elmo and Irene made their home in Moran until February 1997 when they moved to Fountain Villa Residential Care, Iola.
She will be remembered as a loving and devoted mother and grandmother.
On Sept. 25, 2001, Irene's husband of 61 years passed away. She was also preceded in death by her parents, two sisters, Grace Griggs and Rachel Daniels, and a brother, Scott Black.
Irene is survived by her daughter, Meredith Rogers; two grandsons, Mike D. Rogers and Diane Greenawalt and Chuck Rogers and Susie McKarnin; great-grandchildren, Kane Rogers, Kole Rogers and Charles, Rogers and Darius Greenawalt.
Funeral services will be held at 2:30 p.m., Monday, July 30, 2012, at the Feuerborn Family Funeral Service, Moran. The family will greet friends following the service. Irene will be cremated following the funeral and laid to rest at the Fort Scott National Cemetery at a later date.
Memorial contributions may be made to the Missouri Lions Eye Research Foundation and sent in care of the funeral home, 344 N. Cedar, Moran, Kan., 66755.
Condolences may be left at www.feuerbornfuneral.com.