We honor and celebrate the life of Irene Sophie Johnson, who passed peacefully surrounded by the love of her family on August 17, 2021 at the age of 87. Irene resided at her farm in Groton, NY until her passing.
Born February 28, 1934 in the middle of a snow storm in Greenport, Long Island, Irene Sophie Mezynski was the last of six children, and the first born in a hospital. A round-faced, smiling baby, Irene was adored by her mother Stefania and siblings Ed, Ida, Jessie, Chet, and Stanley. Raised in Brooklyn, Queens and Long Island, Irene grew to be a skinny girl who liked to play basketball, walk to the library and who was a good student, graduating from Thomas Jefferson High School in 1951. A child of the Great Depression and WWII, Irene valued the small things in life and would often recall songs of WWII, lights in the sky for blackout drills, and enjoyed sharing photos of her handsome brothers dressed in military uniforms. Irene was fiercely proud of her Polish and Catholic heritage.
Irene worked full time to support herself and her children for most of her life. Smart, detail-oriented and good with numbers, she worked as a clerk and secretary near Wall Street, later in attorneys’ offices and finally as a medical billing clerk. She married at the age of 24 and would give birth to four daughters: Stephanie, Kimberly, Christine and Jennifer. Raising her children as a single parent in Brewster, NY, Irene was most joyful in her role as a mother. She excelled at giving unconditional love and was a strong, kind, and compassionate role model. Irene shared with her children her exceptional skills in baking, cooking, crocheting, knitting, sewing; her love of animals, laughter and song; a strong work ethic and much more.
Friends and family remember Irene as someone who took the time to listen, see the beauty around her, help others carry difficult burdens, and who gave of herself generously. Irene possessed a deep capacity for love and responsibility for those she loved. After she retired, she had the courage to move to her farm in Groton, NY at the age of 69 to pursue a dream. In 2014, Irene survived with great sadness the passing of her oldest daughter, Stephanie, who left her with two grandchildren, Francesca and Thomas, and three great grandchildren, Maddalena, Victoria, and Elia.
Irene fought and lived courageously to the end, a testimony of her love of life. Irene Sophie Johnson made the world a better place; she will be remembered with great admiration and missed and loved always. We take comfort that she now exists in a place of joy and well-deserved peace and freedom where we will join her one day.
To share a memory of Irene, please visit www.lansingfuneralhome.com.