Irene Alskog (Tollefson) died peacefully in Tacoma, Washington on Tuesday, September 5, 2006 after a long and rewarding life. Irene possessed remarkable beauty and elegance and was known for her graciousness to everyone she encountered.
Irene was the first of five children born to Julius and Inga Tollefson in Lemon Beach, now University Place, WA in 1916. She was very proud of her Norwegian heritage and of having lived in the Tacoma and Gig Harbor area all of her life.
After elementary school, Irene attended Jason Lee and graduated from Stadium High School in 1933.
She married J. Elmer Alskog in 1938 and they shared 56 years together before his death in 1995. Irene was also preceded in death by her parents, her sister Emma Gunderson, her nephew Richard Loen and many close friends.
Irene gave generously of her time, talents and energy in service to her community. She was elected to the Board of Trustees of Mary Bridge Childrenâ€(TM)s Hospital where she also spent 50 years as a volunteer. She served many years on the Board of the Tacoma Orthopedic Association and served as its president. Irene served on the Boards of the National Foundation of March of Dimes, the Presidentsâ€(TM) Council of Womenâ€(TM)s Organizations of Tacoma and Pierce County, and Tacoma Symphony Women.
She was a charter member with her husband of St. Markâ€(TM)s Lutheran Church, where she taught Sunday School, sang in the Choir, was advisor to the youth group, served on the church council and on several committees.
Irene was a charter member of Panorama Garden Club as well as a charter member of the Annie D. Bucsko Orthopedic Guild. She was honored to have an orthopedic guild formed in her name, the Irene Alskog Guild, and also to receive the Rotary club of Tacomaâ€(TM)s Community Service Award in 1979.
Irene was always very involved in the lives of her children and served on the PTA Boards at Geiger, Hunt, and Wilson, and on the Tacoma Council of PTA. She was a recipient of the PTA Golden Acorn Life Membership, and she also worked tirelessly on the campaigns to fund the schools through the levy process. Other long and continuous memberships include the Daughters of Norway, Fircrest Golf Club, the Elks and the Tacoma Art Museum.
Irene was an avid gardener and was famous for her baking of traditional Norwegian cookies and other specialties. Scandinavian events would find her in traditional Norwegian dress, sharing generously of her knowledge and her baking. She also loved participating in the lives of her beloved grandchildren attending all of the important events in their lives. They all loved their â€śNanaâ€ť, spending time with her on Wollochet Bay and later at the Weatherly Inn.
Irene was a gracious hostess and opened her home generously to family, friends and many organizations. Many wonderful gatherings took place on Wollochet Bay where she and Elmer resided over 30 years.
The family wishes to express their appreciation to the staff of the Weatherly Inn for their excellent care.
Irene was the loving mother of three children and their families: John (Jan) Alskog and daughters Leah, Laura and Lisa; David (Gail) Alskog and their son Erik and daughter Alexandra; Kristine Alskog Hochberg and daughter Karissa; her sisters Thelma (Al) Loen, Mildred Krueger and brother John (Alice) Tollefson; her sister-in-law Gladys Tessier, and son-in-law Hugh Hochberg. She is also survived by many dearly loved nieces and nephews and wonderful friends.
Viewing is Friday, Sep 8, 2006 from 4 to 8 PM at Weeksâ€(TM) Dryer Mortuary, Parkland, WA. Memorial Service will be Saturday, Sep 9, 2006, 2:00 PM at St. Markâ€(TM)s Lutheran Church. The family suggests memorial contributions be made to St. Markâ€(TM)s Lutheran Church, 6730 North 17th Street, Tacoma, WA 98406, or to Annie D. Bucsko Guild, PO Box 823, Gig Harbor, WA 98335.