Irene M. Wattjes, 83


Irene Marie Wattjes, 83, of Tuscola, and formerly of Nokomis, died Saturday, March 2, 2024, at Sarah Bush Lincoln Health Center in Mattoon.

Mrs. Wattjes was born in Hillsboro on April 8, 1940, the eldest daughter of the late Herbert and Temple Schmedeke of Harvel. She was raised on the Schmedeke family farm in Harvel. She was baptized at Trinity Lutheran Church of Harvel on May 12, 1940, and she was later confirmed on April 11, 1954. She and Harold I. Wattjes were joined in holy matrimony on Nov. 12, 1959, and they celebrated 56 years of marriage together. Mrs. Wattjes was an active member of Immanuel Lutheran Church congregation and Ladies Aid of Tuscola. She was also known for her service as the President of the Lutheran Women’s Missionary League (LWML).

Mrs. Wattjes worked at St. Paul’s Lutheran School for six years as a cook, and, after her and her husband relocated to Tuscola, she worked at Monical’s for 13 years until she retired in 2007. She loved baking sweets, playing cards and collecting salt and pepper shakers and magnets wherever her and her husband traveled together. She was a beloved mother, grandmother, sister and aunt.

She was preceded in death by her parents; her husband Harold; and her daughter, Rita A. Wattjes of Tuscola and formerly Nokomis.

Mrs. Wattjes is survived by her youngest son, Dennis and daughter-in-law Paula Wattjes; granddaughters Alesia (Michael) Haslett and Rebecca Wattjes, all of Nokomis and Witt; and eldest son, Darrell and daughter-in-law Michelle Wattjes; grandchildren: Dawn (Richard) Tungate, Michael Wattjes and Heather Alarcon Wattjes; great-grandchildren, Destiny and Ethan of Columbus, IN; brother Don (Karen) Schmedeke and sister Janet Bergman; sister-in-law Glinda Klim; and many nieces and nephews.

Visitation will be held at St. Paul’s Lutheran Church of rural Nokomis on Saturday, March 9, from 1 to 3 p.m. with funeral services and graveside burial to immediately follow at St. Paul’s Lutheran Church cemetery for her and her daughter, Rita. Dinner will be provided after services at the St. Paul’s Lutheran School.

Memorials can be directed to Stiehl-Dawson Funeral Home on behalf of the family at this difficult time

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