Mrs. Betty “Irene” Skretting of Lethbridge, beloved wife of the late Arnold Skretting, passed away in Lethbridge on Wednesday, April 7, 2021 at the age of 86 years.
She is survived by her daughter, Cheryl (Don) Hobberstad of Vauxhall; three grandchildren: Robin (Clint) Thacker of Bow Island, Devin Hobberstad and Ryan Hobberstad of Vauxhall; and three great-grandchildren: Ria, Gabe and Elise Thacker. She is also survived by her brother, Reidar (Heather) Odland and sisters-in-law, Hanna Odland, Anne G. Skretting, Ionne Skretting, Anne L. Skretting and Carol Skretting as well as numerous nieces and nephews.
Irene is predeceased by her husband, Arnold Skretting, her son, Selmar Skretting, her brother, Bernard Odland, brothers-in-law and sisters-in-law: Mary & Harry Key, Hans Skretting, Torsten Skretting, Gust Skretting, Gudmund Skretting, James Skretting, Judith & Peter Braun, Edwin Skretting, Sven Skretting, two nieces: Allyson Skretting and Jennifer Peters, and nephew, Greg Braun.
Irene was born in Enchant on March 26, 1935, to Torvald and Maria Odland. She attended school in Enchant, and nursing school in Lethbridge before marriage. On March 10, 1956, she married Arnold Skretting, and they settled on a farm in Circle Hill, where they ran their grain and cattle operation for 50 years.
Arnold and Irene had two children, Cheryl and Selmar, and kept busy with many activities; 4-H, baseball, swimming, hockey and figure skating. Irene was an active member of the Circle Hill Busy Bee club, she attended the Enchant Evangelical Free Church, and she always had projects on the go; cooking, baking, gardening, sewing, ceramics, and reading. Their door was always open and they welcomed company all hours of the day (and night!). Coffee and home-baked goods were always ready to be served.
In 1977, the family expanded with Cheryl marrying Don and settling close by in Circle Hill. Three grandchildren followed and they became the centre of Irene’s attention. She volunteered to babysit anytime, and visited often.
Selmar’s unexpected passing in 1985 was a terrible blow for the whole family. This tragedy reinforced Irene’s focus on family, and she spent the rest of her life actively invested and connected to her family.
Arnold and Irene took annual camping trips with friends to the Scandavian Festival in Minot. They also enjoyed following the chuckwagon circuit within Alberta. They treated their grandkids to camping trips all around Southern Alberta.
Irene was the ultimate caregiver. She took fresh baked treats to her mother in the hospital and visited often. When she and Arnold moved to Lethbridge in 2002, she supported him with his increasing health concerns.
At this time she embraced new friendships that carried on even after Arnold’s passing in 2005. She maintained coffee visits, lunch dates, Vauxhall ladies birthday club meals, and church activities. Even with her busy social calendar in the city, she was a true farmer at heart, and always kept up to date with what was going on at the farm. She was thrilled that her grandsons, Devin and Ryan, continued to farm their land, along with Don and Cheryl.
Irene welcomed Robin’s husband, Clint, into the family and was thrilled when she was promoted to “Great Grandma”, of Ria, Gabe and Elise. She really looked forward to their visits and family gatherings.
Irene maintained their condo in Fairmont until December 2019, before moving to the View, and later to St. Mike’s Health Centre. Covid restrictions and declining health made the past year heartbreaking for visiting her. However, she remained positive in her outlook and continued to appreciate updates from those she loved. Irene will be dearly missed.
A private family service will be held at 11:00 a.m., on Thursday April 15, 2021. The family invites those who wish to watch the service via livestream at www.mbfunerals.com and scrolling to the bottom of Irene’s obituary. Interment will follow in the Enchant Cemetery.
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