July 24, 1929 ‒ January 25, 2021
Formerly of Mansfield, Ohio
MANSFIELD: Irene Pickens delighted in the goodness of God’s creation, and like her favored hummingbirds, exuded beauty and joy. Irene passed into the Lord’s care Monday, January 25, 2021, from Central Florida Regional Hospital in Sanford, FL. She was 91.
Born Myrtle Irene Sipes July 24, 1929, in Martin County, Indiana, to parents Ray and Inez (Melton) Sipes, Irene worked at Crane Naval Ammunition Depot, Crane, IN, during WWII, where she met Gene Edward Pickens, Sr., the love of her life. Married on May 27, 1946, they were blessed with five children. In addition to raising her family, Irene worked as toy department and stock room manager at the former WT Grant Co. in the Appleseed Center and served as a local Avon lady to her friends and neighbors.
Irene was a member of Berean Baptist Church where she sang in the choir, helped serve funeral dinners, and was active with the Cornerstone Sunday school class and Berean Gold. She formerly attended First Church of God in Ontario where she taught Sunday school, serving as Sunday school superintendent. She was more recently a member of Central Baptist Church in Sanford, FL.
As a member of the “Pickens Trio” – a Gospel group with sisters-in-law Peggy Ludwig and Faith Ann Pickens – Irene sang second soprano.
An avid reader – especially inspirational fiction – she enjoyed crafting, quilting and sewing, flower gardening, and journaling. Every spring while she was able, Irene set off into the woods near her Possum Run Valley home and hunted for mushrooms with her family, always competing to find the first, biggest, or most morels along the way.
She will be remembered for her generous spirit – she was so kind and loving – and for her laugh that was really more of a giggle. A wonderful mother and grandmother, Irene poured love into her famous blueberry pies and enjoyed playing Phase 10 and dominoes with friends and family – though she could be quite merciless!
Irene is survived by her children Linda (Bob) Miller of Sanford, FL, Ed (Deb) Pickens of Mansfield, Dennis (Barbara) Pickens of Green Valley, AZ, Mary Moore of Crestline, and Bob (Adriana) Pickens of Aurora, IL; 13 grandchildren; 18 great-grandchildren and one on the way; eight great-great-grandchildren; half-brother Wendell (Beverly) Sellers of Columbus, IN, half-sisters Pauline Enkoff of Marshall, IL, Kathie (Mick) Flood of Mount Carmel, IL, and Mary (Kerry) Veach of Bartlesville, OK; and numerous nieces and nephews.
Her husband Gene Edward Pickens, Sr., preceded her in death on November 11, 2002. Also deceased are her brother Leon Sipes, a sister Rosemarie Sipes; half-brothers John Sellers and Thomas Sellers; a son-in-law, Arthur Moore; and a grandson, Mickey Moore.
Irene’s funeral service will be live-streamed on the Lexington Avenue Snyder Funeral Home Facebook page and all are encouraged to attend in this way. The Pickens family will hold a service for family on Saturday, February 6, 2021, with socially distanced fellowship from 10 to 11 a.m. at Berean Baptist Church, 2145 Middle Bellville Road, Mansfield. Her funeral service will immediately follow at 11 a.m. in the chapel with Pastor Bill Heaton officiating. Face coverings are required. Burial will follow in Lexington Cemetery.
Click here to watch Irene’s funeral service live on Facebook Saturday morning. Note: please click “interested” or “going” to receive a notification when we are live.
Contributions in her memory to either Faith Sunday School Class of Central Baptist Church, Sanford, FL or the Deacon Fund of Berean Baptist Church, Mansfield, OH, may be made through the funeral home – Snyder Funeral Home, P.O. BOX 3085, Mansfield, OH 44904.
Snyder Funeral Home is honored to serve the Pickens family. Share a memory – and word of support – with them, and watch Irene’s tribute video online at: SnyderFuneralHomes.com