Emily Irene Church, 91, died on Wednesday, October 19, 2022. She was born on March 7, 1931, near Mayview, Mo., the daughter of Eary and Lula (Scott) Hammons. She was the fifth born of six children.
Irene moved to Clinton, Mo., in 1941 and graduated from Clinton High School in 1949. She continued to be an active member of the ‘49er Club. She worked part-time at the J.C. Penney store through high school. Following graduation, Irene worked as a secretary for the farm training program at Clinton High School for six years and also helped in the superintendent of school’s office. On May 2, 1953, she married Norman Wayne Church. They were blessed with three children: Wayne, Donna and Lisa. Irene accepted Christ as her Savior and was a long-time member of the First Baptist Church and the Helping Hands Sunday School Class, Clinton. She was also a member of the Golden Valley Memorial Hospital Auxiliary for many years. Irene loved her home and most of her married life was spent as a homemaker. She also loved working in her yard where her flowers brought her enjoyment. She loved to read and was a regular at the library. She and Norman enjoyed time together travelling to many scenic and historical places throughout the United States. Time spent with her children, six grandchildren, and eight great-grandchildren was very important to her. Irene was supportive and involved with many of their activities when they were growing up. She is remembered for her creative play with her grandchildren from hiding Easter eggs to cutting out valentines and snowflakes to making a pretend “store”. Irene had a special talent in writing poems. Her family has fond memories of these poems she would create when celebrating one of her sister’s birthdays. To this day, they enjoy reading them and getting a good laugh. Irene is survived by her two daughters, Donna Witman and her husband, Bob and Lisa Whyte and her husband, Kris; daughter-in-law Vicky Church; grandchildren, Vance Witman and his wife, SarahAnne, Drew Witman and his wife, Chelsea, Cole Robinson and his wife, Ashlee, Cassidy Robinson and her fiancé, Nathan, Sarah Austin and her husband, Chris and Jacob Church and his wife, Brandi; eight great-grandchildren, Vance, Yates and Emmett Witman, Emry and Staley Robinson, Elijah Austin and Livie and Lexon Church; as well as a number of nieces and nephews, and a family friend, Semiyah. In addition to her parents, Irene was preceded in death by her husband of 69 years and a son, Wayne; brothers, Elvin and Dale; and sisters, Thelma Church, Blondena Barker and Faye Hamblin; and nephew, Darrell Church. Funeral services will be held at 11:00 a.m. on Monday, October 31, 2022, at Bradley and Hadley Funeral Home with Dr. Randy Shipman officiating. Visitation will be at 10:00 a.m., just prior to the funeral service. Burial in Englewood Cemetery. Irene will lie in state from noon to 8:00 p.m., Sunday at the funeral home. In lieu of flowers the family suggests memorials be made to First Baptist Church, or charity of your choice. These donations may be left in care of the funeral home. The family would like to especially thank neighbors Marsha and David Evans, nieces Vickie Figg, Pattie Johnson and Cindy Mullen and Julie and Galen Dody for all their kind, caring and helpful support of Irene and her family.