Irene Laidlaw

November 18, 2020
Irene Laidlaw, affectionately known as “Ike”, passed away peacefully on November 18, 2020, in her home at the age of 85, with her loving family by her side.
She will be sadly missed by her daughter Wendi (Ron) Harding & grandchildren Jason Harding & Paige (Jeff) Cox, of Kelowna; as well as her son Barry (Sandy) Laidlaw & grandchildren Cassidy & Quinn Laidlaw of Calgary.
Irene’s son Randy, who passed away in 1984, will be lovingly embracing her with his long-outstretched arms once again. Irene’s husband Richard “Dick”, who passed away in 2010, would have celebrated his birthday on November 19th. It is our belief that Ike wanted to give him the greatest gift she could – to be by his side again forever.
Irene was the youngest child of Ellen & Albert Kurtz; sister to Dorothy Hall (Ron), Rita Tracey (Jim), James Kurtz, Ralph Kurtz, & Gerald Kurtz (Doreen); & sister-in-law to Carol Sanvido, all who have passed before her.
She is survived by her only living sibling Wilfred (Dorothy) Kurtz; sisters-in-law Helen Kurtz & Ruth Kurtz; brother-in-law Reno Sanvido; as well as many nieces & nephews who will miss Auntie Ike dearly.
Ike was born in Guelph ON, – the youngest of 7 children. In her late teens she worked at the Sally Shop in Guelph where she met her future husband & eternal life-mate Dick, a strapping young advertising delivery boy for the Mercury. They married in 1954 in Guelph, then moved to Kirkland Lake, ON where they started their family of 3 children.
The family moved around, going back to Guelph & then Trenton, ON, before “heading west” to Kamloops, BC in 1969. Ike, Dick & Barry moved to Calgary, AB in 1977 with Ike & Dick retiring to Kelowna, BC in 1990.
In all the cities Ike lived, she not only carried on a professional working career but contributed tirelessly into volunteer efforts with Beta Sigma Phi – an international organization embracing Life, Learning & Friendship – qualities that she lived daily.
Her extensive contribution to Beta Sigma Phi was recognized with many honours including, Woman of the Year & the ultimate International Award of Distinction – Beta Sigma Phi will miss a truly exceptional lady & giving member.
Irene was an artistic crafter & extraordinary seamstress. So many people benefited from her countless talents from clothes, window treatments, convention attire, Christmas d├ęcor, Calgary Stampede outfits, her daughter’s wedding dress & granddaughters first day of school outfit, to name a few.
She hosted many events – Legacy Teas with Beta Sigma Phi, Stampede Breakfasts, Conventions, Charity Gift Wrap Projects, Hospice Calendar Projects, Red Alert Programs, Curling Bonspiels & Dick’s Annual Golf Tournament.
GIVING was Irene’s mantra. Tirelessly through her actions, reaching out to positively impact those she touched. Give to others & not ask for anything in return. Do all the work, let others take the spotlight, then stand in the background with humility & honour. The world has lost a very special person. She made all our lives better – for that we are eternally grateful.
Due to COVID restrictions, a private family Funeral Mass will be held at Immaculate Conception Church with Interment at the Kelowna Memorial Park Cemetery, where she will be laid to rest beside her husband Dick and son Randy. Date yet to be determined.
Condolences may be sent to the family by visiting
In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to the Heart and Stroke Foundation (, or the BC Cancer Foundation (

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