Irene Gustafson, 82, of Clifton passed away peacefully to be with her Heavenly Father. Funeral services will be held at 1:00 P.M. Saturday, January 8, 2022 at Our Savior's Lutheran Church at Norse. Burial will follow at Norse cemetery. Visitation will be held from 5:00-7:00 P.M. Friday, January 7, 2022 at Clifton Funeral Home.
Irene was born November 4, 1939 in Crosby, North Dakota to Richard and Violet Haugenoe.
Her family lived on a farm near Crosby. Irene was baptized and confirmed at Troy Lutheran Church in Crosby where she and her family attended and served others. She began her education at the Lexington School, and then attended Crosby Schools. She and her siblings would walk the cows to pasture on their way to school and bring them back to the barn on their way home. After high school, she worked in Williston, North Dakota as a nurse's aide at the Good Samaritan Hospital. Irene, her sister Ruby, and her brother Earl formed the Haugenoe Trio and played on television on the Faye Crush Show. They also enjoyed playing their music for dances in the communities surrounding Crosby. She met her husband, Charles Gustafson when he went to North Dakota with his brother Claude to meet Claude’s fiancée, Joyce Carlstad. Joyce introduced her good friend, Irene, to Charles; they fell in love and married in 1960. Charles and Irene had two children; in 1963 Richard Glen was born and in 1966 Sherri LaVonne was born. Irene was a loving mother and wife for 60 years.
Irene enjoyed her children’s activities at their schools and played her accordion at many local functions, including the State Fair of Texas with the Sons of Norway. She also played with Sister Rosa Pflueger in the Rhythm Band each week at the Clifton Sunset Home for many years. Irene volunteered her talent as a musician on many occasions throughout the community. Irene attended the Goodall-Witcher Nursing School where she earned her nursing degree, and then went to work at the Goodall-Witcher hospital where she worked for 30 years. She loved being a nurse and her gentle caring nature made her beloved by both her patients and colleagues. She was known as “Gussie” to many in the community, a nickname that was given to her early on in her nursing career.
One of her favorite events to attend every year was the Lutefisk Supper in Cranfills Gap and she attended the Circle and Ladies Aide at the Norse Church where she sang in the choir. She made the best Swedish Meatballs and Rosette cookies every year for the Smorgasbord and her family. She was an avid collector of angels and treasured each and every one. The family enjoyed traveling and visited Mexico, Yellowstone Park, Glacier Park, Nashville, and Branson to see the musical programs. Irene and her family enjoyed their summer visits to Montana and North Dakota, and often watched the Theodore Roosevelt play performed in Medora, North Dakota. She loved playing marbles, 42 dominoes, and card games with friends and family.
Irene was preceded in death by her husband Charles, parents Richard and Violet Haugenoe, her sister Arlene and her brothers Ronnie and Earl. Sisters-in-law Joyce Gustafson, Evelyn Carlstad and her husband Wallace, brothers-in-law Dale Larson and Leif Binde
She is survived by her son Rick Gustafson and his wife Susan of Fort Worth, daughter Sherri Feris and her husband Mike of Fort Worth, and granddaughters, Abigail Corder and her husband Beax Corder of Copperas Cove, Alyssa Gustafson of Harker Heights, and Tatum Harris of Fort Worth, her great granddaughter, Reagan Corder of Copperas Cove, her sister Ruby Binde and her sister-in-law Cheryl Haugenoe of Williston, ND, and her brother-in-law Claude Gustafson of Kalispell, Montana, and her sister-in-law Betty Kruse and her husband Kenneth of Clifton Texas.
She will be missed by all those who loved her.