A memorial service for Della “Irene” Bagby will be 2:30 p.m., Friday June 21, 2013 in the Chapel of the Garden at Rice Funeral Service. Irene passed away on Saturday, June 15, 2013. She was 79.
Born Nov. 23, 1933, in Gilliam, Mo., to Everett and Della Mae (Linton) Gowin, Irene was reared and educated in Armstrong, Mo. During her school days, Irene was quite active, playing on the basketball team, drama club and she was also a cheerleader. Although busy, Irene helped her parents with their grocery store.
On Aug. 3, 1952, Irene married John Mitchell Bagby and the young couple made Huntsville, Mo. their home. Later they bought John’s parents old home place and it was there they raised their four children. The family made a move to Claremore for John’s employment with Peabody Coal Company in 1970. While living in Claremore, Irene worked for Wal-Mart. In 1975 John was transferred to the home office of Peabody Coal in St. Louis, Mo, so the family followed and lived in Mascoutah, Ill., just outside St. Louis. In 1988, Claremore became home again with John’s retirement. Irene and John became snow birds and would spend time in Arizona during the cold months in Claremore.
When Irene wasn’t busy with her family or other obligations, she enjoyed a game of bunko with her card group or bowling with her league. She had many opportunities to travel with her bowling friends, playing in tournaments, some as far as Las Vegas.
Irene was also a member of the Red Hat Club. But she treasured the time with her family the most. She was a wonderful cook and relished times spent preparing holiday meals for her family.
Mema was a term of endearment and Irene loved the hours she had with her grandchildren. Family was her priority and she made it a point to attend every event in which they were involved.
A truly wonderful wife, mother, Mema and friend, Irene will be missed by all who knew her. Those family members that survive include her husband John Mitchell Bagby; her children Don M. Bagby of Claremore, Rebecca “Becky” S. Reasnor and husband John of Hinton, Okla., Ross A. Bagby and wife Laura also of Claremore and Jon D. Bagby and wife Kim of The Woodlands, Texas; her beloved grandchildren Joshua, Elizabeth, Andrew, Sarah, Danielle, Kaitlyn and Alec; and four great grandchildren; her sisters, Susie Craig of Springfield, Mo. and Gladys Shull of Raytown, Mo. Irene was preceded in death by her parents and siblings Mary Alice Henderson, Lucille Kitchen, Ethel Klekamp and James “Jimmy” Gowin.
Those who wish to honor Irene with a memorial contribution may do so by contributing to the Rogers County United Way, P.O. Box 1165, Claremore, OK 74018.