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Irene Leach went to heaven to be with her loved ones on December 14, 2022. She was born in Hartford on March 5, 1924, and lived there with her family until they moved to the Cleveland, Ohio area where she was a proud member of the Class of ‘42 at Orange High School in Warrensville, Ohio.

Irene had wonderful memories of her life there. She loved school and had many friends. One of her greatest memories was how she and her friends would take the transit into the city to the Palace Theater to see all the big bands of the time. The family moved back to Hartford her senior year where she became reacquainted with a childhood friend, Jack (Harold) Leach. They fell in love and were married in 1946. They had one daughter, LeAnne.

Irene was very involved in church and community work donating countless hours to teaching Sunday school and singing in the choir. She was a “Gray Lady” at Watervliet hospital for many years and volunteered with the Red Cross. During the Vietnam War, she helped connect servicemen to their families at home, passing on messages and helping to make arrangements for families to be reunited. She and her friends from Junior Mothers Club and Bunco club held many fundraisers and activities to support the community and school. She was the first Aide (Para Pro) to be hired at Hartford schools. She loved the staff, the children and the work she did there.

After Jack retired, they spent their summers living and working at a Jellystone Park Camp Resort in Pierceton, IN, and wintered in Zephyrhills, FL. One of her proudest moments was when they were crowned king and queen of their RV park in Florida, based on their contributions and leadership in their retirement community. After Jack died in 1991 she returned to Hartford and spent her last years as a fiercely independent and active woman until dementia started taking its toll. Her greatest joy was being with her family, traveling, especially camping, and taking care of her home.

Irene spent her last couple months at Royalton Manor and her last day leading the other residents in singing and dancing. She then died peacefully in her sleep having spent her last hours doing something she loved. She was a role model and inspiration to her family and friends.

She was preceded in death by her mother, Violet Tuttle, her father, Rex Taylor, her step-father Dan Tuttle, her husband, Jack, her son-in-law, Ralph Yarbrough, her two brothers: Verl Taylor and Charles VanWoert, and sister, Eleanor Jones.

She is survived by her daughter, LeAnne Yarbrough, two grandchildren: Brad (Tammy) Yarbrough and Amanda (Jason) Marquardt and three great-grandchildren: Sidney Olmsted, and Addison and Taylor Marquardt. She was also proud to add to her family, Jonny (Tabitha) Marcoux, Coty (Jessica) Marcoux and Tyler (Abby) Marcoux along with her step-great, great-grandchildren: Dylan, Addison, Piper, Makaya, Taelynn, Braylee, Silas and Lydia.

A Celebration of Live will be held at the Hartford Bible Church on Sunday, Jan. 29. Visitation will begin at 2 p.m. with the service at 3 p.m. A luncheon will follow.

Donations may be made to the church or the Van Buren Co. Animal Shelter.


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Richard W. Dibble, 101, of Hagar Twp., died April 1, 2024 at home. Duffield & Pastrick Family Funeral Home and Cremation Services, Coloma


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