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Memories & Candles

“So very sorry Dar, Allison, and OJ. Mom and I ran into Irene the last time we were in Marquette. We had a nice visit and caught up a bit. Nice...Read More »
1 of 6 | Posted by: Deborah Jean Lundquist

“So sorry to hear to Irene's passing, Thoughts and prayers going to her family during this difficult time. ”
2 of 6 | Posted by: Krista (Kassel) Peranteau

“Heartfelt Sympathy to all the Gager Family and all who knew IRene. I have good memories of IRene going back. I always made her laugh when I called...Read More »
3 of 6 | Posted by: Lucille Zellar Nyman

“Our condolences and prayers to all of you. Irene was a classmate and fellow cheerleader back in high school. She was a sweet person and fun to be...Read More »
4 of 6 | Posted by: Paula Alverson Shapy

“so sorry for your loss! ”
5 of 6 | Posted by: Gary and Betty Luukkonen

“My deepest sympathy to the Gager family. Knew Irene as we both worked at Wells Fargo! Prayers for all her family. ”
6 of 6 | Posted by: Pat Varda


Irene M. Gager, 59, of Marquette, died Thursday afternoon, November 24, 2016 at UP Health System in Marquette. She was born December 21, 1956, in Hancock, Michigan, daughter of the late Ora and Gladys (Lundquist) Endress. Irene was adopted by the Endresses soon after birth following a brief stay at the former Holy Family Orphanage in Marquette. At the age of 50, Irene found and reconnected with her birth parents, Walter "Ron" and Harriet Spieth of West Bend, WI and enjoyed a close relationship with them until their passing in 2013 and 2014, respectively. Irene was raised in Grand Marais and graduated from Burt Township High School in 1975. She then attended Northern Michigan University and graduated in 1979 with a Bachelor's Degree in communication disorders. Irene worked for many years at the former MFC First National Bank then for Wells Fargo. Irene left Wells Fargo in 2016 and was loving retirement, as she had time to devote to the things and the people she loved. Irene could often be found in her rocking chair with a book in her hand and a dog on her lap or by her feet. An avid animal lover, Irene's three dogs and one cat were truly her babies and she was incredibly devoted to them. She was happiest at home, surrounded by family and friends and welcomed anyone into the Gager household with a smile, a hug, and an apology that the house was a mess- when it never actually was. She also enjoyed assisting her husband, Darwin with his passion for barbecuing and took great pride in being his assistant as he cooked for gatherings of family and friends. Irene is survived by her husband of 37 years, Darwin Gager of Marquette; daughter, Allison (Brad) Deters of Holland, MI; son, Jim (Kayla) Klein of Gladstone; grandchildren, Abby and Anna Johnson and Nora and Easton Klein of Gladstone, MI, and Alex Deters of Holland, MI; siblings, Mike Spieth of Santa Fe, NM, Marge Spieth of West Bend, WI, Ron (Jenny) Spieth of West Bend, WI, Matt Spieth of Greenville, SC, Jenny (Gary) Lorenz of Cascade, WI, and OJ Endress of New York, NY; sister-in-law, Delores (Virgil) Monroe of Manistique and brother-in-law, Roger Gager of Limestone; nieces and nephews, Nick Keller of Oshkosh, WI, Mandy Keller of Germantown, WI, Mara (Zach) Kubowski of Honolulu, HI, Jeff (Tori) Spieth of West Bend, WI, Amie (Liam Thier)Spieth of Juneau, AK, Leah Spieth of West Bend, WI, Chris Spieth of Howard's Grove, WI, Erin Spieth of Howard's Grove, WI, and Tanner Lorenz of Cascade, WI; great nephews, Levi Weise of West Bend, WI and Jackson Keller of Germantown, WI; honorary son, daughter, and granddaughter, Rusty Hoffenberger, Melissa Borah, and Emma Hoffenberger of Negaunee, and beloved fur children, Jessie, Indy, JuneBug, and Flip (The Flippin Cat). She was preceded in death by her biological parents, Walter "Ron" and Harriet Spieth; adoptive parents Ora "Pug" and Gladys Endress; father and mother in law, Leonard and Veretta Gager; and niece, McKenna Lorenz. A celebration of Irene's life will be held on Saturday, December 3, 2016 at 3 p.m. in the Canale-Tonella Funeral Home with Rev. Jim Duehring officiating. Visitation will be held for one hour prior to the service in the funeral home. In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions may be made to the Harbor Humane Society, 14345 Bagley Street, West Olive, MI 49460. Irene's obituary can also be viewed at canalefuneral.com where memories may be shared.

Funeral Home
Canale-Tonella Funeral Home Inc
526 N. Third Street Marquette, MI 49855
Tel. (906) 226-2711
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