Eva Irene Gripp passed away peacefully on Jan. 6, 2020 at the age of 85, after a yearlong health battle.
Services will be held Saturday, Jan. 18, 2020 at 11 a.m. at the Chariton Pierschbacher Funeral Home. Family will receive friends prior to the service, beginning at 10:00 a.m. In Lieu of flowers, the family would kindly request a donation to Homestead of Chariton, Attn: Kristen Milledge, 1110 North 6th, Chariton, IA 50049 for a courtyard enhancement. We also hope you would take a few minutes to share a memory or photo on website.
IRENE was born December 4, 1934 to Charles Francis and Elva Dell (Mullins) Brewer in Whitebreast Township, Lucas County, Iowa. Her early years were on the family farm before moving to Chariton in 1945. Irene enjoyed band and thespian club at CHS graduating in 1952. During her senior year, she married her soul mate and love, Doyle Eugene Gripp, before his Army service deployed for Italy.
Following Doyle's honorable discharge from the Army in 1953, the couple resided in Chariton where Irene worked for Attorney Oscar Stafford, Attorney Dick Morr and then Farmers Home Administration, doing clerical and secretarial work. In 1957, they moved to Des Moines where she worked in the State FHA Office. Irene especially enjoyed Square Dancing Club during their early marriage.
This loving couple returned to Chariton in 1959 to build their life, businesses and family. A new opportunity allowed them to open Gripp’s Auto Salvage that year. Irene commuted to Knoxville to work at the VA Hospital. Following the 10 years in the Auto Salvage, Doyle and Irene purchased a Chevrolet Dealership in Chariton. This business later grew to include Pontiac, Oldsmobile, Cadillac and Buick. Irene assisted with bookkeeping as needed. The couple sold Gripp Motors in 1992.
Chariton provided an abundance of treasured memories for both Irene and Doyle and a perfect setting to raise their two daughters: Susan Rae, born in 1963 and Laura Jane, born in 1968.
Of course, being social, caring and loving has many benefits, which granted life-long connections, as well as continual new friendships in Chariton. They both enjoyed being surrounded by their special family, grandchildren and sweet nieces and nephews.
Irene had a passion for hosting! (Doyle had a love of entertaining!) You were always welcome at the Gripp home! Bridge, cards or game night, holidays, birthday celebrations, pizza or an Irene special meal, homemade ice cream or dessert, and of course the happy hours were endless! In addition to hosting, the couple loved to travel and were always ready for a venture. Endless local trips to the State Park or West Lake were especially enjoyed. Picnics and smores were necessities. Irene and Doyle created many memories and completely valued the many winters spent with family and friends in Green Valley, Arizona.
Irene will always be a special grandparent to the many that affectionately called her NANNY! She was famous for her Strawberry and Black Raspberry Pies, Bourbon Slush, Biscuits & Sausage Gravy and many memories were created in the kitchen with her grandchildren. Nanny and Papa always made an EXTRA fun home to visit, which included a swing from the basement rafters, a playroom, swing sets and sandboxes, plus a fleet of child-size cars personalized with a Gripp Motors emblem, and bicycles of every size. Time together with Nanny always included card playing, and her games continue to be played and shared! Irene kept in touch with her grandchildren via phone and texting, as she began to master both the iphone and ipad! A text from Nanny always made your day.
Irene proudly embraced many community partnerships throughout the years including the Chariton Christian Church (Disciples of Christ). She was always supportive of anything Chariton and truly a fabulous role model. We remain proud of her legacy.
Irene and Doyle moved to Chariton’s Homestead Assisted Living in January 2019 upon learning of a terminal infection in Irene’s aorta graft. Sadly, Doyle's health also declined and after 67 years of marriage, he passed on May 6, 2019. Irene’s health continued to fail over the summer and through the fall and winter, and after a valiant final struggle that began on Christmas Eve, she met her Lord on Monday, Jan. 6. The family is forever grateful for the amazing care provided by the staff at Homestead and Lucas County Health Center and are blessed that both Doyle and Irene could share memories with so many lifelong friends over the past year.
Irene is survived by daughters Susan Huttinger (Charles) and Laura Shelton (Todd). Nanny, will never be replaced in the hearts of these grandchildren: Alexis Smith Davis (Brian), Caitlin Smith, Caroline Huttinger, Erich Huttinger, Emily Shelton, Cooper Shelton and Bailey Shelton; along with many special nieces and nephews.