Irene Leamon, of Niles

Sept. 2, 1928 — Sept. 22, 2020

Irene Lucille Leamon, 92, of Niles, mother, grand -, great-, and great-great-grandmother, scout leader, traveler and cheesecake artist died peacefully at 7:05 p.m. on Tuesday, Sept. 22, 2020, at Brentwood Assisted Living in Niles following a brief illness.

She was born on Sept. 2, 1928, in Niles to Cleveland D. and Margaret (Horner) Hipshier, and was graduated from the former Central High School in Niles. She was employed for many years in the former Niles plant of Simplicity Pattern Company where she and many Niles housewives folded tissue paper dress patterns by hand.

Irene was formerly a member of the First Church of Christ — Christian in Niles until moving her membership to the Fairland Christian Church. She was one of the early volunteers to the Southwestern Michigan Community Ambulance Service, riding and driving ambulances to care for the emergency medical needs of her community. She was well-known for her “no-bake” cheesecake, but also practiced traditional cooking and baking, and enjoyed canning the produce of their garden.

As a young mother, she volunteered as an adult leader of Girl Scouts, leading her troop through successful fund-raising activities that allowed troop trips to Hawaii and Mexico. Her service to Girl Scouts included several troops and more than thirty years. She also enjoyed traveling throughout the U.S. with her husband to visit relatives and friends.

On Dec. 22, 1946, in Niles, she married Robert E. Leamon, with whom she celebrated the remarkable 70th anniversary of their wedding prior to his death on April 3, 2017. She was also preceded in death by her parents and by her siblings, Happy Hipshier, Myrtle Shepardson, Dorthea Seals, Catherine Bowerman, Fentalene Harrell, Pansy Cleary, Betsy Vandygriff, Jack Hipshier and Orelda Hipshier.

Surviving family includes her children, Robert E. (Dawn Myrick) Leamon Jr., of Cropwell, Alabama, and Kathleen Myer and Martha Ann Virgil, both of Niles; adopted daughter, Kathy Opick; a former son-in-law, Dale Myer; grandchildren, Dale (Tara) Myer, Kim (Chris) Corzine, Tammie (Shawn) Herrman, Robby Leamon III, Jodie (Casey) Kalinowski, Leah Virgil and DeLynda Virgil; great-grandchildren, Kylee, Jaycee and Aynslee Myer, Corbin Haines, Hallie and Christopher Corzine, Lane and Lexi Herrman, Obi and Rosie Ahmed and Amara Kosik; great-great-granddaughter, Adalynn Haines; and many nieces and nephews.

The family of Irene Leamon is gathering privately to honor her life and share memories. Committal will be in Mission Hills. Contributions in memory of Irene may be made to the Fairland Christian Church, 1811 River Bluff Road, Niles, MI 49120, fairlandchristianchurch.com/; or to the Michiana Christian Service Camp, 7383 Steinbauer Road, Niles, MI 49120, michianacamp.org. Online condolences may be left at: halbritterwickens.com.

Irene was active all of her life, working at Simplicity, gardening, canning, and producing cheesecakes from her home; leading girl scouts, visiting relatives and supporting her congregation; but most importantly loving her family and her God.

Berrien County

COVID-19 UPDATE: Michigan reports 551,080 cases, 14,326 deaths

News

Niles City Hall to be closed on Fridays through March 12

Berrien County

Winter weather advisory in effect for Berrien, Cass counties Monday evening

Buchanan

Driver rescued from St. Joseph River sustains minor injuries

Community News

Niles Girl Scouts host drive-thru cookie sale

Cass County

MEC announces new grant program

Cass County

Cass County 4-H announces ‘Equine Education Thursdays’

News

Niles Police Log: Jan 14-19

Cass County

Dowagiac man pleads guilty to fourth-degree criminal sexual conduct

Business

Dowagiac business cited for COVID-19 safety violations

Cass County

Cass County Chief Judge talks COVID’s impact on treatment court

News

Historians, archaeologists with ties to Fort St. Joseph to give free lectures

Buchanan

Commission votes to make One Buchanan official city board

Berrien County

Businesses in Berrien, Cass counties report disparities in mandate enforcement

Edwardsburg

Edwardsburg/Ontwa Township Police Log: Jan. 11-18

Berrien County

Berrien County’s only homeless shelter raising money for repair

Cass County

Cass County commissioners approve five-year parks plan

Cass County

Woman ordered to pay back money taken from disabled son

Dowagiac

Ascension CAO provides vaccine update to Rotary

Berrien County

Spectrum Health Lakeland, Berrien County Health Department give joint update on COVID-19 immunizations, numbers

Cass County

Niles man sentenced to probation, jail time for 27th criminal conviction

Berrien County

Michigan indoor dining to resume Feb. 1 with restrictions

Berrien County

Lakeland, health department seeking COVID-19 vaccination volunteers

Business

Canceled Ice Time Festival to impact local businesses