Irene (Brisky) Wilson was born on January 17, 1927, to the late Theodore and Alexandra (Wolcoenska) Brisky in Windsor Heights, WV.
Irene’s life was dedicated to her family and her Catholic faith. She initiated catechism classes at St. John’s Church in Wellsburg, WV. At Sacred Heart of Mary Church in Weirton, WV, she was president of Christian Mothers when the church was on Avenue F, she taught high school CCD classes and was a sacristan for many years. She led the Rosary for forty years, was a member of the RCIA team, was a lector, and occasionally, an usher. Her ministry of visiting the parish’s elderly, sick, and disabled was a blessing that was later returned to her by Deacon Vince Olenick, whose weekly visits were so appreciated.
Irene was valedictorian of her class and was always a voracious reader. She was an enthusiastic worker of newspaper crossword puzzles (in ink) that were graciously provided by her neighbor, Minnie. When she was in junior high in Beech Bottom, WV, she played on the girls’ basketball team but did not score many points because she played defense. She was a strong swimmer and held a Red Cross Swimmer Certification. In the early 1960s, after daily mass, she would swim laps at the Millsop Community Center to stay certified. After a knee replacement in the 90s, she returned to the pool for water aerobics and kept going for years.
Irene was involved in John F. Kennedy’s 1959 presidential race and received numerous notes, cards, and letters from the former US President. She was proud to have helped the first Catholic president get elected.
She retired from the Weirton Post Office after 20 years of service that was supposed to be part-time for one holiday. After retiring, she volunteered for AARP to file income taxes for senior citizens.
At 90 years old, she learned how to get on Facebook on her tablet and kept in contact with her friends and neighbors. When she discovered her tablet, she gave up physical books and read them virtually, watched daily mass on YouTube, and watched Christmas movies year-round. When one tablet would give up, it became an emergency to replace it immediately.
Irene lived in a neighborhood where people still knew and cared about each other. She often sat on the front porch to say hello and chat with anyone who walked by. She enjoyed the many meals and treats shared with her by her neighbors, the Salatinos. She had never been a “dog person,” but when her daughter moved in with 3 little dogs, she quickly fell in love and doted on them and the whole neighborhood knew her house as the one with the little dogs. Her neighbor’s dog, Bennie took any opportunity to run across the street to visit. They even helped with cutting the grass. In the last few years, her neighbors came to her rescue several times.
Irene was preceded in death by her husband, Charles Woodrow, by her parents, two brothers, Frank and Alex, and sister, Wanda. She is survived by her four children, Diana, Jeffrey (Barbara), Perry of Phoenix, AZ, and Christine (Robert) Brancazio, and five grandchildren, Kimberly, and Brian (Dory) Martin, Jacob (Margaret), Perry (Nicole), and Alexandra.
Visitation will be held on Tuesday, November 14, from 3-7 pm at the Greco-Hertnick Funeral Home, 3219 Main Street, Weirton, WV.
Mass of Christian burial will be celebrated at Sacred Heart of Mary Church, 200 Preston Avenue in Weirton on Wednesday, November 15, at 10 am.
Irene’s family will gather at Sacred Heart of Mary Church at 9:30 prior to her funeral mass on Wednesday and recite the Glorious Mystery of the Rosary.
Fr. John Neiman will preside.
Entombment will follow at Saint Paul’s Cemetery.
Share online condolences at www.grecohertnick.com