January 2, 1926 – June 3, 2020
Irene Beckingham passed peacefully in her home in Qualicum Beach, on Wednesday, June 3, 2020 with all of her 5 children by her side.
Predeceased by William (Bill) Beckingham, her life-long love and husband of 58 years, Irene is survived by her five children, Michele (Andreas), Charles (Celyne), Anne (Tom), Louise (Michael) and David (Beverly), by three of her eight siblings, and by her seven grandchildren; Michael, William, Charles, Louis, Ross, Brooke and David. Born in La Tuque, Quebec, Irene’s early years were shaped by the experiences of growing up in a bilingual, large, loving family. Proud members of the Wendake Nation, Irene’s Indigenous father was a decorated, WWI hero.
The Theberge family were well known for their warmth, generosity and faithful service to the Catholic Church. In her late teens, Irene left La Tuque to pursue nursing. Ambitious, resilient and hard-working, she earned full designation as a registered nurse and left Canada to work in Bermuda.
After returning to Canada she worked in Vancouver and then left nursing to pursue a career as an airline stewardess on Trans Canada Airlines (TCA). When Irene moved to Vancouver she was introduced to Bill, and after a long courtship the two married. The couple settled in Port Alberni where Bill practiced law and together they raised their five children.
Always a gracious hostess, Irene loved to share her life and home with family and friends. Large, late-night gatherings, dinner parties and celebrations routinely spilled onto the beachfront of their Qualicum summer home. To her credit, when there were extra mouths to feed, Irene was always the first to offer a welcome and the last to say good night.
Known to never refuse a good glass of wine or political debate, Irene’s interests and passions were always expressed through her connections to those she loved. Irene loved to play cards and played in her bridge club for 65 years with her best friends. Strong, positive, outspoken and always fashionable, Irene’s unfaltering love and loyalty to family is her greatest legacy. Modest and deeply kind, Irene never expected acknowledgement in return. Irene saw the world simply and focused on what was immediately before her, praying faithfully, giving generously, laughing jubilantly, and perhaps most of all, loving unselfishly.
A private Catholic mass was held at the Church of the Ascension in Qualicum Beach.
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