Irene G. Konieczny passed away on Wednesday, January 5, 2022 to be with her Lord and savior. She was born to Wallace Gurka and Sophie Zievert on June 3, 1931, in Chappell Hill, TX. Irene graduated from Chappell Hill high school at the age of 17; her older sister Theresa was going to school so Irene had to go as well, and everyone agreed as long as she could do the work and keep up.
Irene lived the first part of her life as an Army wife. She married Julian C. (JC) Kubeczka and traveled from California to Kentucky, back home to Houston. While in California, Irene gave birth to their first daughter, Linda but God had other plans, making Linda an angel at her time of birth. While living in a boxcar with no electricity, Irene learned to pass the time with the wildlife. As the Army would have it, they moved to Kentucky where fate brought them their second daughter, Joyce. JC’s time was up in the army so they decided to make Houston their home. While trying to paint their new homes garage, Irene went into labor and gave birth to their third daughter, Sharon.
Irene held a variety of jobs, first Joske’s retail store as a catalog model and onto Woolworth’s. After working a little over a week, she met Ima Hogg, who suggested Irene attend Comptometrist classes. Ima could see Irene wanted to do more in life.
After becoming a Comptometrist, Irene landed a job in the accounting department with Humble Oil Co., in downtown Houston, which later became a part of Exxon. While at Humble, she was in charge of the Yellowrose of Texas beauty pageant and also a contestant. Irene was a talented woman, working full-time, raising her two daughters, and at the farm on the weekends with JC, working cows, building fences, clearing pastures of wesash bushes, as well as disking and shredding. Irene worked harder than a lot of men.
In 1971, Irene was left a widow to raise two girls alone. She worked in Houston during the week and drove to Chappell Hill on Friday nights so she could continue working the farm on the weekends.
Irene married Joe Konieczny in 1975 and they lived in Houston until Irene’s retirement from Exxon. For Irene, retirement just meant starting another job, closer to the farm. Irene went to work for Johnny Kopycinski’s Chappell Hill Exxon Station in 1985 as his bookkeeper. She continued working there for 30 plus years all while maintaining her hay bailing business, raising cows, mending fences, growing her garden, and everything a small family farm needed.
Irene was a member of St. Stanislaus church and the altar society. She was a devoted wife, mother, grandmother and great-grandmother. Over the years Irene came to have many nicknames however those she cherished most were that of Babushka, Busha and Peanut. Her love of yellow roses, gambling, the Astros (Bregman was her favorite), the young and the restless and any lemon flavored dessert will always be remembered. She was a God fearing, strong, determined, spitfire of a woman. She always told you what was on her mind. She will truly be missed. We love you and may God welcome you with open arms.
She is preceded in death by her parents, husband, Joe Konieczny, son-in-law, Ken Thomas, sisters, Theresa Derkowski, Dorothy Walzel, Barbara Cegielski.
She leaves behind her daughters, Sharon Thomas, Joyce Pelley and husband Lewis, grandchildren, Travis Pelley and wife Becky, Casey Taylor and husband Billy, Dustin Pelley and wife LeAnn, Great-grandchildren, Dylan, Bonnie, and Samuel Pelley, Rory and Lincoln Taylor, Patrick and Elizabeth Pelley along with nieces, nephews, friends and neighbors.
Pallbearers will be Larry Derkowski, Sr., Robert Derkowski, Linda Bilski, Spencer Walzel, Michael Cegielski and Tommy Cegielski.
Visitation with the family will take place at Memorial Oaks Chapel on Sunday, January 9, 2022 from 5:00 pm until 6:00 pm; rosary will be recited at 6:00 pm. A Christian mass will be held at 1:00 pm on Monday January 10, 2022 at St. Stanislaus Catholic Church with Father Jozef Musiol officiating. Burial will follow at St. Stanislaus Catholic Church Cemetery.
Memorials may be directed to St. Jude's Children’s Research Hospital. Donations may be made to: https://fundraising.stjude.org/site/TR/GiftFunds/GiftFunds?px=7339422&pg=personal&fr_id=39300
Funeral arrangements are entrusted to Memorial Oaks Chapel, 1306 West Main Street, Brenham, TX 77833.
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