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Irene L. Moga, age 95, of Royalton passed away peacefully at her home on July 10, 2018, surrounded by her family. Visitation will be from 3 to 7 p.m. on Friday, July 20 at Holy Trinity Church in Royalton, Minn. Christian Mothers will pray the rosary at 4 p.m. Parish prayers will be held at 7 p.m. Mass of Christian Burial will be at 11 a.m. on Saturday, July 21 at Holy Trinity Church in Royalton, Minn., with visitation one hour before the service. Interment will be at the Holy Trinity Catholic Cemetery following the funeral mass.
Irene Lucille Moga was born July 8, 1923 in Alberta Township, Benton County, Minn. The daughter of Lawrence and Lucille (Labusga) Chmielewski, Irene was the fourth of six children. She attended rural school and graduated from Foley High School Class of 1941. Following high school graduation, Irene attended the St. Cloud Teacher’s College. In the fall of 1943, she began her teaching career in the rural schools of Morrison and Benton counties. She later attended summer school and evening classes at St. Cloud State University and Mankato State University earning her Bachelor of Science Degree, Special Education Degree and Reading Specialist Degree. She was hired by the Little Falls School District #482 under the Title I-89-10 program to teach reading and math at Our Lady of Lourdes School, St. Mary’s School, and later Charles Lindberg Elementary School. In 1977 Irene was recognized as the Little Falls School District Teacher of the Year and was presented the Minnesota Teacher of Excellence Award. Irene had a deep love, concern, and respect for all the children she had the privilege to teach. Her teaching career spanned nearly 45 years in schools across Little Falls, Royalton, and Rice.
Irene met the love of her life, Arthur Moga, at a basket social event at her school. They were united in marriage on October 17, 1945, at St. John’s Catholic Church in Foley. They resided in Royalton and raised their eight children there. Cooking and baking came naturally to Irene. She enjoyed cooking for her family and friends, and did catering for weddings and special events. She loved baking coffee cakes and bread for her family, friends, church, and many social events. The smell of freshly baked bread filled the Moga house on a weekly basis. Visitors could always count on a homemade treat when they dropped by for a visit. Irene enjoyed gardening, flowers, playing cards, reading, and traveling. Her travels throughout the United States, Canada, and Europe with friends and family who were often inspired by her good humor and taste for adventure.
Irene was an extremely active member of Holy Trinity Catholic Church. She served many years as President and Secretary of the Holy Trinity Christian Mothers Association, the St. Rose Mission Group, President of the Holy Trinity Parish Council, Council Trustee, Eucharistic Minister, lector, prayer leader, and religion teacher. Irene also shared her gifts by catering many dinners for the parish priests and diocesan leaders over the years.
Irene’s generosity and energetic spirit carried over into the local community where she was an active member of the Royalton American Legion Auxiliary for 70 years. She served as American Legion Auxiliary President, and Secretary; was a member of the Little Falls VFW, member of Little Falls PTA, Royalton Area Senior Center, Retired Educators Group, Little Falls Education Association, Minnesota Education Association, and was an active in the Alpha Delta Kappa teacher’s sorority.
Irene was a dedicated mother, grandmother, teacher, and role model with a ready smile that helped her see humor and joy in all of God’s creation. She especially enjoyed her grandchildren and great-grandchildren who brought such delight and laughter to her life. She expressed gratitude for the many blessings and support from all the people whose lives have touched hers over the years. She will be remembered as a fun loving, energetic, friend to all. Irene was devoted to her loved ones, community, and the church.
Left to cherish her memory are Arthur Jr, of Crystal, Kathy Kirchoff (Barry) of St. Cloud, Charles (Elke) of Clear Lake, Margaret Moga of Maple Grove, Barbara Henkemeyer (Thomas) of Becker, James of Royalton, and nine grandchildren, Jessica (Joshua) Schneider, Alisha (Cameron) Macintosh, Bryce Kirchoff, Katie Baumgart, Mikalya and Tyler Henkemeyer, Allison, Meagan and Nathan Moga; seven great grandchildren, Brody, Simon and Fintan Schneider, Rhoda and Lev Macintosh, and Kirsten and Arrik Baumgart.
Irene was preceded in death by her parents, Lawrence and Lucy Chmielewski, husband, Arthur W. Moga (1981), son, Richard Moga (1979), daughter, Mary Kaye Moga (2015), and siblings, Delroy Chmielewski, Richard Chmielewski, Severin Chmielewski, Mary Dedeluk and Evelyn Rudnitski.
Irene’s family would like to extend special gratitude to Horizon Health Care and Hospice team, especially Stacey, Carrie, and Jessica. Special thanks also to Holy Trinity Church and Father Roger Klassen, Dr. Greg Lehman and Northway Dental Clinic, Dr. Neudecker, and Dr. Wesenberg and staff of Family Medical Clinic, and all the caring family and friends who visited Irene.
In lieu of flowers, please bring a children’s book that will be donated to children in need, to inspire a love of learning. Memorials will be used to support early literacy programs in Central Minnesota.
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