Ethel Irene Goodsell passed away peacefully in her sleep early Saturday, May 23, 2020. Irene, as she was known to family and friends, was the daughter of Jane Barns Jones Marcussen Goodsell and Clarence Edmond Goodsell. She was born May 17, 1937 in Malad, Idaho and was her mom’s fifth child and her dad’s 12th. She was also the only one of their children to be born in a hospital.
When she was six weeks old, her family moved from Malad, Idaho to Oakland, California where Irene spent her growing up years. She loved the great outdoors and the beauties of nature. She loved good music and taught herself how to play the guitar. She loved to read great writing and the dictionary. She loved the sound of words and their meanings and often used those words in everyday conversations. Whether she was talking about a Quidnunc (a busy body) or a Haruspex (soothsayers who foretell the future by reading the entrails of animals), all those listening to her learned to love words too. She was a talented artist and in high school she demonstrated a talent for art illustration. She would look at the newspaper and redraw the ads for women’s clothing. She liked to draw women figures and create the design of dresses for them. She took some of her drawings to the Oakland Tribune and they asked her where she got her degree. She didn’t have one, so they couldn’t hire her. She was creative and funny and some have told her she missed her calling in not becoming a comedian.
Irene was shy in nature and loved spending time with her mother. After high school she worked for a bank and the national auto club. She spent a school year helping with her sister Billie’s kids in Portland Oregon while Billie taught. In 1960 Irene was called to serve in the Northern British Mission for the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. She fell in love with the people and the landscape of the British Isles and brought that love home with her. Irene also loved animals, especially cats and would take in strays. Her nieces and nephews knew that, so almost every birthday, Irene would get some card with a cat on it or something that would remind her of the British Isles.
After her return from her mission, her parents health was starting to fail and she became primary care giver to them. When her father passed away in 1967, her sister Eleanor encouraged Irene and her mom to move to Salt Lake City Utah to be closer to her. About a year after Eleanor’s husband died in 1971, Eleanor built an apartment on the back of her house so that Irene and her mom wouldn’t have to worry about rent. Irene continued to take care of her mother and helped Eleanor with her kids. Irene worked at Lavoy’s, Penthouse Fashions, and Sorensen Critical Care in the manufacture and production lines, Beehive Clothing, White Elegance, and O.C. Tanner’s, but as her mom’s health started to fail, she eventually took on full time care of her mom. Her mom lived to 94 years of age due to the tender care that Irene gave her. Irene gave a lifetime of service to her family. After her mom died, she continued to live with Eleanor and in Eleanor’s last few years, she became her caregiver as Eleanor battled cancer. She missed her family and longed to be reunited with them.
Irene is survived by many nieces and nephews, and grand-nieces and grand-nephews that loved and adored her. She was preceded in death by her mom Jane and dad Clarence; brothers Clarence, Royal, Virgil (who died in infancy) and Alfred; sisters Iona, Ruth, Mary, Coral, Margene, Billie, Clara, and Eleanor. She has now reunited with them all and we are so happy for her. A private family burial service will be held at the Hyrum City Cemetery where she will be buried next to her mom.
A special thanks to the hospice workers at Signature Hospice Home Health and to Sue Salton, a niece who came out to help for a week or two while Irene was on hospice. Also a huge thanks to Connie Krein, Kaisa DuMond, Michele Rossiter, Julie DuMond, David Sandberg, and Jennifer Dalley, nieces and a nephew who took on being her 24 hour caregivers in the last few weeks as her strength to do things on her own failed. We love you all and are appreciative of everything you did for Irene. Thank you to all of the extended family who loved, called, and supported Irene from a distance. She loved the birthday cards, talking to you, and you.
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