Irene Evelyn Florence Knapton (neé Shaughnessy)
May 13, 1941- July 24, 2023
Irene died peacefully at home in the early morning of July 24th from cancer in the loving presence of her devoted partner and caregiver, Kelly Knapton (Markdale, ON).
Irene was born in Portsmouth, England, and was the youngest of six children. She loved to tell stories of her early childhood, such as how her mum, Marie Alexine (neé Desarmenien), had the magical ability to turn everyday household chores into entertaining games and would hide candies under her pillow. Growing up, Irene was an avid member of the Girl Scouts and could often be found with her head buried in a book. She attended nursing school before immigrating to Canada with her three young children, Carolyn, Barbara, and James, in 1965.
Over several decades, Irene built a house cleaning business, Mighty Maids. She was adored by her many customers across the greater Toronto area, and a special handful became lifelong friends. She was a talented textile artist, and she knit and crocheted a bountiful supply of beautifully handmade clothing, toys, and blankets. Despite establishing her life in Canada, Irene always maintained a strong connection with her family in England through extensive phone calls, letters, and postcards.
Irene’s memory, her many stories, and beautiful gifts will be cherished by her daughter, Carolyn (Ron), and adoring granddaughters, Alexine (Danny) and Kristie (Sarah). Irene will be dearly missed by her family in England, including her two elder sisters, Alexine and Shirley (Brian), her handsome brother Ron, and her nieces and nephews, including Aidan, Lisa, Jacqui, Dan, and Jeanne. Irene will also be missed by special friends David, Kevin, Nina, and Ted.
She is predeceased by her children Barbara Alexine (1963-1999) and James Edward (1965-2023), and her siblings Joyce (1931-1950) and Bill (1939-2012).
There will be a Celebration of Irene's Life at the Royal Canadian legion branch 333 Flesherton, on Saturday, August 19, 2023 at 11:00am.