Irene was raised in the Grimes and Owens communities of Wright County. Her grandparents owned and operated Grimes Mill and they also had apple orchard. She enjoyed spending time there and helping with whatever needed done.
As she grew older, Irene started courting a handsome young man named Virgil, who would ride a white horse to come see her. They soon fell in love and would begin a life together. Irene was united in marriage to Virgil E. Tate on November 30, 1935 in Graff, Missouri. Ten children were born to this union.
Irene accepted Jesus as her Savior at an early age at Green Mountain Church. At that time, her family lived in the Astoria community and Irene would walk to Green Mountain to attend church services. Later in life Irene and Virgil became charter members of Hopewell Free Will Baptist Church, where she also served as treasurer for many years. She attended many other churches throughout her life, including Oak Grove Free Will Baptist Church. She also liked listening to gospel music and attending singings. Irene remained faithful to God.
Irene was a loving woman with a kind heart. She was an independent woman who worked hard at whatever tasks the day held. Irene worked at HD Lee for about seven years but was a devoted homemaker for her family. She was always dressed well and looked very pretty. Irene was a great cook who made unforgettable homemade biscuits. Irene was a good seamstress and enjoyed embroidery. She also loved family gatherings and always looked forward to spending time with family and friends.
Besides her parents and husband, Irene was preceded in death by a daughter, Verna Ruth Tate; four brothers, Harold, Earl, Ralph, and Claude Grimes; and one sister, Mary Ellen Wood.
She is survived by four sons, Gilbert Tate of Choctaw, Oklahoma, Delbert Tate and wife Brenda of Mtn. Grove, Missouri, Nolan Tate and wife Ellen, of Cabool, and Dwaine Tate and wife Kathy of Norwood, Missouri; five daughters, Lillie Campbell and husband Elvin of Kansas City, Missouri, Erma Campbell and husband Clifford of Bucyrus, Missouri, Louise Sponsler and husband Hubert of Tulsa, Oklahoma, Della Rumfelt and husband Arles of Norwood, and Anita Hurley and husband Jim of Mtn. Grove; 23 grandchildren; 47 great-grandchildren; ten great-great-grandchildren; and a host of other relatives and friends who will dearly miss her.
Funeral services were held on Wednesday, October 21, 2015, at 2:00 p.m. in Craig-Hurtt Funeral Home. Rev. R.E. Helsley was the speaker. Songs were “Gathering Flowers For The Master’s Bouquet,” “When I’ve Traveled My Last Mile,” and “Going Home” provided by the Moore Family. Pallbearers were grandsons Allen Tate, Gary Campbell, Terry Campbell, Darren Tate, Jammie Hurley, Rodney Tate, Daniel Rumfelt, Terry Tate, and Stephen Sponsler. Burial was in Hopewell Cemetery under the direction of Craig-Hurtt Funeral Home, Mtn. Grove.
Memorial contributions may be made to Hopewell Cemetery in care of the funeral home.