Irene Broughton

Irene Maria Broughton

Sunday, July 10th, 1927 - Wednesday, October 21st, 2020
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Irene, aged 93 of Ottawa, died peacefully in the hospital on Wednesday evening, October 21.

She was born on July 10, 1927, in Calgary Alberta, the youngest of five children of William Hamilton and Ada (Keay) Broughton, both of Grimsby, UK. Predeceased by her siblings, she is survived by her loving and devoted son Richard Tetrault and many nieces, nephews, cousins and their children and grandchildren. Irene was an avid genealogist, and she dedicated much energy to discovering and connecting with her extended family. Her cheery letters and phone calls will be missed by many across Canada, the USA, UK and France.

Irene was a fiercely independent woman, living in her own apartment until last month. Divorcing in the 1960s when it was most uncommon, she bravely and lovingly raised her son alone. Later she provided a home away from home for many international student lodgers, continuing until her 87th year. She attributed her sense of charity and community to her father’s kindness to others during the Great Depression in Calgary. She was proud to have been childhood church friends with Violet King, who went on to be Canada’s first female black lawyer. She was marked by and recounted that as girls in the 1930s, they were not allowed to be at the public swimming pool together. For the remainder of her life, Irene was interested in learning about all persons she met and their various cultures and religions.

A member of the Imperial Order of the Daughters of the Empire as a girl, Irene at a young age proudly assisted her Grandparents in a daily flag raising ceremony when visiting them in Red Deer. During WW2, she wrote letters and knit socks for her cousins and other soldiers overseas. She also pursued voice lessons and won the Alberta provincial trophy for singing at age 17. As an adult, she sang in the Ottawa University and St-John the Evangelist choirs, attended CAMMAC summer music camp, and once again enjoyed voice lessons, singing her last recital at age 90.

Blessed with a positive outlook and cheeky humour, Irene was a creative person who enjoyed sketching, knitting, sewing, writing short stories, Scrabble, pets and her garden. She giggled that she had enough to do to take her past 100, and laughingly complained that her pants needed hemming as she was shrinking down to 4’10’’! She loved nature, and getting outdoors to x-country ski, skate on the canal, or walk to church. She was a well-known figure to the merchants of Elgin Street.

Following her retirement from the public service in Pensions Canada, she enjoyed travels to Western Canada and the UK to connect with extended family. She continued travelling into her late 80s, enjoying trips to Cape Hatteras and Cuba with her son. At family gatherings, Irene was known for her smiles and stories, and her jellied salads and mincemeat tarts. Her presence will be greatly missed by all who knew her.

The family wishes to sincerely thank all those who helped Irene in her care at her apartment and more recently at the Ottawa Hospital.

A private service will be held later; details to follow.

Donations to Parkinson Canada would be gratefully appreciated.

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