Irene grew up and attended school in Hartville, Missouri. She was united in marriage to Lavern Cope on November 7, 1947 in Hartville. Five children were born to this union.
Irene loved her big family. She was a great cook who enjoyed preparing meals for her family, friends, and church. She also enjoyed crocheting, embroidery, and many other craft-related hobbies.
Irene was a longtime member of First Free Will Baptist Church of Mountain Grove, Missouri, and attended as long as health permitted.
Besides her parents, Irene was preceded in death by her husband, Lavern; a daughter-in-law, Mina Cope; a brother, Bob McCulley; and two sisters, Mildred Ryan and Maxine Emery.
Irene is survived by three sons, Steve Cope and wife Yvonne of Summersville, Missouri, Mike Cope of Cabool, Missouri, and Keith Cope and wife Linda of Rochester, New York; two daughters, Sharon Aldridge and husband Joe of Columbia, Missouri, and Janice Rader and husband John of Bolivar, Missouri; eleven grandchildren, and seventeen great-grandchildren, and a host of relatives and friends who will miss her dearly.
Visitation was held Monday, July 17, 2017, from 10:00 to 11:00 a.m. at Craig-Hurtt Funeral Home. Funeral services followed the visitation, also at the funeral home, with Rev. Gary Fry officiating. Song selections were “One Day At A Time” and “Precious Memories” rendered by Ruth VanGenderen. The musical selection was “I Can Only Imagine.” Brad Cope, Brian Cope, Jeremy Rader, Jason Rader, Kristina Hollrah, Trevor Rader, Alex Cope, and Trenton Rader served as pall-bearers. Michael Cope, Michelle Rogers, Kathy Aldridge, Lori Mortensen, and Anthony Cope served as honorary pallbearers. The family requested memorial contributions to be made to multiple sclerosis research in care of the funeral home. Burial was in Hillcrest Cemetery under the direction of Craig-Hurtt Funeral Home, Mountain Grove.