Irene Elizabeth Dearden passed away November 6, 2013 after a brief battle with ovarian cancer. She was born Irene Alberta Herman on April 1, 1936, in Elizabethton, Tennessee, the fourth of seven children born to George and Maude Herman. Maude passed away when Irene was just six years old and George was MIA in the Navy in World War II, so Irene bounced around extended family and orphanages. She and her brother Bob were adopted by a couple in Tennessee who died two years later. She was back to orphanages until being adopted at age 11 with her brother Bob and moving to Los Angeles.
Irene studied psychology at East Los Angeles Junior College and Whittier College in California. After leaving college, she married John “Jack” Biddle; they later divorced. She met L. Clair Dearden in Los Angeles and then they both moved to Utah. Clair baptized Irene a member of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints in the Salt Lake Tabernacle baptismal font, then she and Clair married in 1966. Irene became a stepmom to Susan, Thomas, and Daniel. She and Clair then had Lisa and Lori. Irene and Clair later divorced. Irene was a writing and editing consultant for Shipley Associates. She remained an active member of the LDS Church throughout her life, serving in many callings, including a Relief Society teacher at the Utah State Prison and a temple worker for many years in the Bountiful Temple. Irene wrote an article published in the Ensign and spoke at BYU Women’s Conference. She served as PTA President in her daughters’ elementary school, was a member of the Board of Directors of the Bountiful Theater Guild, and volunteered at Lakeview Hospital and a battered women’s shelter. Irene loved following a good war on CNN, doing crossword puzzles, and watching her British comedies in the evenings. The family will miss her New Year’s Eve fondue parties very much.
Irene was preceded in death by her sisters, Helen Collins and Marcella Herman, and two brothers, Harley Herman and Robert Abney. She is survived by two brothers, Eugene (Sue) Herman, Tennessee and Larry Hunter, Tennessee; adopted sister Vivienne (Rick) da Costa, San Juan Capistrano; children, Susan (Lance) Naylor, Idaho; Thomas (Jana) Dearden, Kaysville; Daniel (Vivian) Dearden, Bountiful; Lisa (Patrick) Trepanier, San Diego; and Lori (Stephen) Mulvey, Layton; and numerous grandchildren and great-grandchildren. Funeral services were held on November 11 and interment was at Lakeview Cemetery.