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A Mass of Christian burial for Irene Wynne of Wannaska, MN will be held on Wednesday, April 4th at 10:30 AM at St. Philip's Catholic Church in rural Falun. Visitation will be on Tuesday from 5-7 PM with a 7:00 prayer/vigil service at Helgeson Funeral Home in Roseau. Interment will be at St. Philip's Cemetery at a later date.
Irene Kay Wynne was born August 17th 1953 to Fred and Ferne (Creighton) Hayes in Roseau and died March 28th, 2018 in Minneapolis. Irene grew up in Roseau and graduated from Roseau High School in 1971. After graduation she worked at Marvin Windows, Hayes Lake State Park and Northwest Community Action. In 1978, while at Northwest Community Action, she met John Wynne. They were married on August 4, 1979. Irene had three children: Michael McFarlane, Patrick Wynne and Ryan Wynne.
In 1979 John and Irene moved to Alvarado, Minnesota where they lived for 12 years. During that time Irene began her lifelong dedication of helping people. In 1991 John and Irene moved to the Wannaska area and soon after she founded Wynne Consulting. Despite the fact that her business kept her extremely busy Irene always found time to volunteer her time to help others. She was an active member of the Wannaska Lions and was a dedicated member of the St. Philips of Falun Catholic Church. She was a most compassionate person. Upon reading that in poor African communities people with prescription pills often had no means of carrying or storing them, she convinced the Wannaska Lions to initiate a pill bottle recycling program whereby empty prescription pill bottles were collected and shipped to Africa. She also loved being a member of the St. Philips Lady’s Aid and was known for the meals that she prepared following mass. She also volunteered to cook and serve meals once a month at a local senior citizens housing complex (Sunburst Acres).
Irene was a kind heart who would do anything to help someone in need. This carried through to her many friendships and her employment. Through Wynne Consulting Irene was able to help hundreds of individuals and businesses throughout northwestern Minnesota and beyond. Some of her most challenging efforts came when she assisted the Cities of Grand Forks, East Grand Forks and Warren recover from the massive flooding of 1997. Later following the flooding of 2002 she helped with the flood recovery efforts in Roseau. In these various efforts she was instrumental in overseeing the buyout of over 900 flood devastated homes, the rebuilding of hundreds of others, the rebuilding of downtown areas and the repair/replacement of flood damaged infrastructure.
Irene, like her mother Ferne, loved animals. She loved feeding birds in her back yard throughout the year and her household always had dogs and cats and for quite some time she raised orphaned raccoons. The Christmas celebration at the Wynne household always included a collection of animals – all of which Irene made sure were present during the gift exchange and all of which received gifts also.
Most importantly, however Irene was dedicated to her family and many friends. She took care of her dad in old age for over 10 years and whenever possible provided employment to area students. She lovingly tended to the needs of her husband, children and grand children.
Irene is survived by her husband John, children Michael (Julie) McFarlane (Bemidji, MN); Patrick (Jennifer) Wynne (Huntington Beach, California); Ryan (Megan) Wynne (Grafton, ND), grandchildren William McFarlane, Kaylah McFarlane, Emsley Wynne, Isabella Wynne, Trevor Haugen, Tyler Haugen brothers Donald (Diane) Hayes and Duane (Cindy) Hayes, special nephew Nathan (Shannon) Hayes and numerous other nieces and nephews. She was preceded in death by her father Fred Hayes and mother Ferne Hayes.