Irene Mae Coomer

Irene Mae (Henning) Coomer passed away on her 90th birthday on Nov. 17, 2023.

Five and half months of being separated from her husband Jim in death was all her broken heart could handle.

Irene was born in 1933 in Oak Park to Louis and Florence (Kindman) Henning. She was the baby of the family with two older brothers, Louie and Glenn, and a beloved cousin, Bunny, who grew up in their household.

Following high school, Irene left Chicago to attend Northern Illinois State Teacher's College (now NIU) in DeKalb to fulfill her lifetime dream of becoming a teacher. She taught briefly in Chicago, and then in California, until her mom passed away unexpectedly in July 1958. This event brought Irene home to Chicago to live with her dad while he coped with this loss. Thankfully, Irene started attending the Clearing United Methodist Church in Chicago in 1959, where she met the love of her life, Jim Coomer. Both were seriously dating others at the time, but that all changed quickly. At a New Year's Eve party ringing in the new year, 1960, Jim asked Irene to marry him and six months later, on June 11, 1960, Jim and Irene were wed.

Jim and Irene moved to their "starter home" at 5666 S. Thurlow St. in Hinsdale where they raised their two daughters and then stayed for 55 years. Irene returned to teaching at the Maercker Elementary District 60, where she taught first- and third-graders for 18 years.

Shortly after moving to Hinsdale, Jim and Irene joined a very new church, Hinsdale United Methodist Church. Irene was very active there for nearly 60 years, serving on numerous committees, Mother-Daughter banquets, Madrigal dinners, circles, choirs and in various positions, including president of the United Methodist Women. She was in charge of the HUMC prayer chain for many years because being a prayer warrior for family and friends was of upmost importance to her.

Irene had personal ministries that were also important to her. She faithfully wrote letters of encouragement to countless college students and always included a dollar or two to buy a coke. She was a gift giver as well. Many loved ones have Irene's crocheted dish rags, counted cross-stitch pictures or even a Methodist spatula.

She continued making new friends when Irene and Jim moved to Oak Trace in 2013 and became Ambassadors there, welcoming new residents.

Irene was preceded in death by her parents, brothers, and husband of 63 years, Jim.

She is survived by her daughters, Laura (Daniel) Bauer and Cari Coomer; and her granddaughters, Melanie (Robert) Trenkler and Bethany (Robert) LeLaurin.

Irene was buried at a private service on Nov. 22, 2023 at Mount Emblem Cemetery in Elmhurst.

A memorial service will be held at 2 p.m. Saturday, Feb. 17, at Hinsdale United Methodist Church, 945 S. Garfield Ave.

Memorials may be made to Hinsdale United Methodist Church, 945 S. Garfield Ave., Hinsdale, IL 60521. Brian Powell Funeral Directors of Hinsdale handled the arrangements.