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Irene E. Stratton

September 17, 2012
The Mining Journal

MARQUETTE, Mich. - Our mom, Irene Stratton, 103 years old, of Marquette, previously of Escanaba, died Friday, September 14, 2012, at the Eastwood Nursing Center in Negaunee.

Before that she had many happy years at Brookridge Assisted Living in Marquette Michigan. Mom was born June 30, 1909, in Escanaba, Michigan, the eldest of three girls, to the late Emma (Leisner) and Mike Fragile.

She attended schools in the Escanaba area. At 65, she and our dad, the late Edward Stratton, attended Northern Michigan University. She always said she needed to prove to herself that she could still learn, and at 72, she did graduate Magna Cum Laude with a major in Earth Sciences and her minor in Biological Sciences. She was an inspiration to all who knew and loved her, both in our family and to fellow students she helped along the way while at NMU. Some grandchildren and nephews also lived with her while they went to NMU. She stayed very young in every way from this. She was an accomplished pianist and especially enjoyed playing classical music, she also played organ at several of the Catholic churches in the Upper Peninsula. She met our dad in Escanaba when they both worked for Michigan Bell Telephone. He was a lineman at the time, and she was an operator. Over the next several years, they moved our family from Escanaba to Sault Ste. Marie, to Menominee, and Marquette. She and dad had 40 plus years together before he died. He had bought her a very loving birthday card which he misplaced and then died before he could find it to give to her back in 1979. Less than a year later she found it and treasured it forever. She still read voraciously, and played cribbage with family, and bingo right up to the end.

Mom was preceded in her death by her mom and dad; her husband, Edward Stratton; two younger sisters, Harriet (Dick) Schram, and Margaret (Brendan) Williams; brother-in-law, Brendan; a niece, Mary Margaret Williams; some aunts and uncles and last, but certainly not least, our loving sister Joan (Paul) Conrad, mom's firstborn who died January 2011.

She is survived by her remaining three children, sons James (Mary) Stratton of Brighton, Michigan and Donald (Pauline) Stratton of Venice, Florida; daughter Pat (Wayne) Polazzo of Menominee, Michigan. She also leaves nine very loving, caring grandchildren, and 13 great-grandchildren, many nieces and nephews.

A special thank you to Dr. Kim Perttu of Marquette, for her care of our mom, an angel for sure, and all the years of loving aid from the Brookridge and Eastwood Staff.

Friends may call at St. Michael Catholic Church in Marquette, on Friday, October 5, 2012 from 10:30 a.m. until 12:00 noon. A Mass of Christian Burial will be celebrated at 12:00 noon with the Rev. Larry Van Damme, pastor, as celebrant.

The Fassbender Funeral Home is serving the family where condolences may be expressed online at



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