Cover photo for Irene Peterson's Obituary
Irene Peterson Profile Photo
1929 Irene Peterson 2023

Irene Peterson

February 12, 1929 — May 22, 2023


Irene Loran Peterson, 94, passed away May 22, 2023. She was at home, surrounded by her family, when she left this world to be with the Lord.

Irene was born in Missoula, Montana on February 12, 1929, to Nicodimus and Katherine Loran. She attended Whittier Grade School and graduated from Missoula County High School in 1947. While a young woman, Irene worked at the Florence Hotel, as a switchboard operator. There, she met Darrel Peterson, who was the love of her life. They were married December 27, 1950, and moved to Superior, where Darrel started a teaching career and Irene had her first child. In 1952, they moved back to Missoula where they became permanent residents and Irene had five more children. Being a wife and homemaker was a top priority for her. Through love, hard work and devotion, Irene took care of and supported her family. Irene and Darrel were married for 68 years, until Darrel’s death in 2018.

After Irene’s youngest child entered school in 1973, she started working at Russell Elementary School where she was a noontime supervisor for 34 years. She enjoyed working with children and bringing a little more light into their lives. Irene’s favorite activities were gardening, crafts, cooking and traveling with her family. Irene lived her life for the Lord. She was a member of St. Francis Church during her childhood and St. Anthony Parish as an adult.

Survivors include three sons: Dr. Darrell (Kris) Peterson of Anchorage, Alaska, Dennis (Dawn) Peterson of Olympia, Washington, and Mark (Gwyn) Peterson of Tacoma, Washington. Irene is survived by three daughters: Karen Lessnau of Missoula, Lee Ann Peterson of Missoula, and Jennifer (Brent) Ethridge of Newnan, Georgia. She is also survived by nine grandchildren: Jamielynn McNamara, D.J. Peterson, Shannon Blanken, Cassandra Stuckey, Dustin Peterson, Mandy Roland Roy, Kyle Peterson, Courtney Ethridge, Christopher Ethridge and numerous nieces, nephews, and great-grandchildren.

Irene was preceded in death by her father Nicodimus Loran, mother Katherine Loran, brothers Ludgwig, Sebastian, John and Jake Loran, sisters Angeline McCoy, Eva Dubois, Mary Ann Lynch, Agnus Loran, twin sister Lorene Loran, and a great-granddaughter Kyndra Peterson.

A special thanks goes out to Angie Barron, Irene’s wonderful caretaker and Partners in Home Care & Hospice of Missoula.

Visitation will be May 31, 2023 at Garden City Funeral Home, 1705 West Broadway, from 5:00-7:00 pm. Rosary and remembrances will follow. Funeral mass will be celebrated on June 1 at 10:30 at St. Anthony Parish, 217 Tremont St, with a luncheon to follow. Interment will be at Sunset Memorial Gardens, Mullan Road, at 2pm.

To order memorial trees or send flowers to the family in memory of Irene Peterson, please visit our flower store.

Service Schedule

Past Services


Wednesday, May 31, 2023

5:00 - 7:00 pm (Mountain time)

Garden City Funeral Home and Crematory

1705 W Broadway St, Missoula, MT 59808

A Vigil service will conclude the visitation.

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Thursday, June 1, 2023

Starts at 10:30 am (Mountain time)

St. Anthony Catholic Church

217 Tremont St, Missoula, MT 59801

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Graveside Service

Thursday, June 1, 2023

Sunset Memorial Gardens

7405 Mullan Rd, Missoula, MT 59808

Following the conclusion of the Reception at St. Anthony's.

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