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Obit: Irene Lawrenz, 101

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Irene Alvina Lawrenz, a resident of Milwaukee, went peacefully to heaven on Saturday January 2, 2016 at the age of 101 years, 7 months, 13 days.

Irene was born on May 20, 1914, in Montello, to the late Herman and Emma (nee Guderjahn) Zabel. The Lord adopted her as his daughter in Holy Baptism. Irene confessed Jesus as her Savior publicly at Confirmation a dozen years later. She graduated from Montello High School in 1932 and went to work at the Marquette County court house. Through family she met Rev. Carl J. Lawrenz of Lomira who was serving as pastor of St. Paul’s Lutheran Church in North Fond du Lac. They were united in marriage on July 16, 1939at St. John’s Lutheran Church in Montello. Carl preceded her in death on October 14, 1989.

Irene was secretary to her husband who was president of Wisconsin Lutheran Seminary in Mequon, Wisconsin, from 1957-78 and counted 20 years of seminary students as her special sons. Irene was an active member of Calvary Lutheran in Thiensville, of St. John’s in Lomira, and finally of St. Marcus in east Milwaukee where she held membership at the time of her death.

Until her very final days, Irene took an active personal interest in her family, music, reading, writing, drawing, birds, current events, the Time of Grace ministry, and her many friends and visitors. Her infectious smile brought joy to all who knew her.

Those Irene leaves behind to cherish her memory include five children, Rev. Dr. John (Phoebe) Lawrenz of Milwaukee, Kathryn Weaver of West Allis, David (Susan) of Mequon & Ottawa Lake, MI, Stephen (Lori) of Thiensville, and Mary (Daniel) Schmal of West Allis; 13 grandchildren; 22 great grandchildren; one sister-in-law, Irmgard Molkentin of Milwaukee; plus many other relatives and friends.

In addition to her parents and husband, she was preceded in death by two grandchildren, Ruth and Eve (John/Phoebe) in infancy; a brother, Harold; a sister, Bernadine (Zabel) Heckman; a son-in-law, Duane Weaver; three brothers-in-law, Paul Heckman, Karl Molkentin, and Franklin Woldt; along with two sisters-in-law, Vera Woldt and Sylvia Zabel.

Funeral services in remembrance of Irene will be held on Wednesday, January 6 , at 2:00 pm at St. Marcus Lutheran Church( 2215 N. Palmer St.) in Milwaukee. Senior pastor Mark Jeske will preside.

The Lawrenz family will greet relatives and friends Wednesday at the church from 12:00 noon until the service at 2:00 pm.

Irene’s mortal remains will be committed, awaiting the resurrection, next to her husband and two grandchildren at St. John’s parish cemetery next to the church in Lomira, at 2:00 pm on Thursday January 7.

In lieu of flowers, memorials would be appreciated for St. Marcus congregation or the Time of Grace ministry of St. Marcus.

The Myrhum Patten Miller & Kietzer Funeral Homes, Lomira, have been entrusted with Irene’s arrangements. Additional information and guest book may be found at

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