Clara “Irene” Andritsch
Irene Andritsch passed away peacefully on October 23, 2018, at the age of 96 years. She resided in Fort Myers, FL, for the past four years and was part of the Barkley Place care community. Irene was born in Wichita, Kansas to James E. and Inez L. O’Neil (nee Edmisson), and moved to Milwaukee, WI, at the age of 8 years old with her siblings, Ralph, Pauline, and her beloved sister, Mary. She met and married her brother’s friend, Andrew Andritsch, who was a kind and hard-working German descendant that adored his wife. Irene and Andy had two children, Michael (and Nancy, nee Burbach) Andritsch and Kathleen (and Dennis) Balota, who they lovingly raised in the Milwaukee area. Irene was intensely proud of her children and of her 5 grandsons from Michael and Nancy Andritsch; Michael, the late James, Scott, Troy, and Todd. She is further survived by 13 great-grandchildren, and 8 great-great-grandchildren.
Irene’s loving husband passed away in 1986, and Mike and Nancy relocated to North Manchester, IN, with their children later that year. Irene was comforted that her son and his family frequently visited her in Milwaukee. They also spoke on the phone several times a week. The frequent phone calls continued after she moved to Florida, and she loved to hear about her son and his wife, and about each one of the grandson’s lives and their childrens’ lives on those calls. She was happy that her Indiana family was also able to occasionally visit her after she moved to Florida.
Irene was actively involved in many activities when she lived in Milwaukee, including a woman’s golf league, bowling league, and even taught Sheepshead cards at a Milwaukee further education facility. She spent holidays and special occasions with her daughter and son-in-law (Kathleen and Dennis Balota) at their home in Big Bend, WI, where she always provided some homemade dishes, and even golfed after dinner, weather permitting. Irene and her daughter took several vacations to Fort Myers Beach, and they were frequently seen out-and-about in Milwaukee and in Fort Myers where they ate at local restaurants, shopped, attended sporting events, and attended movies until Irene's failing eyesight prevented some of those activities. Irene was a fashionista until her last day. She took pride on how she looked, exercised daily, got her hair done weekly, and always dressed beautifully with matching jewelry.
Irene’s impact on her family was definitive as she instilled high values, honesty, hard-work, and accountability. Although she may not be with us in person, we will never forget her smile and the impact that she had on our lives. God bless you, Mom.
A private memorial service will be planned for family in Indiana (tbd), with a final resting place memorial at Pinelawn Cemetery in Milwaukee, WI.