Devoted wife, loving mother and cherished friend, Irene Jocelyn Bixler, 80, a lifelong resident of Strasburg, passed away Saturday, March 12, 2005 following a courageous battle with cancer.
Born March 24, 1924 at Strasburg, she was the daughter of the late John & Edna Hertzig Pfaeffli.
She was a member of the First Lutheran Church at Strasburg where she had been active in the choir for many years.
A graduate of Strasburg High School, Irene worked with local retailers J.C. Penney, Garver Brothers and Strasburg Pharmacy but she also enjoyed being a homemaker and caring for her family.
Her family was at the heart of her very being and she was saddened by the loss of her daughter, Jocelyn “Joey” Bixler, then, more recently, the passing of her husband Carl, with whom she was married for 57 years.
Irene was a big supporter of Strasburg High athletic teams and of course her family was a part of that as well. For years she and Carl had basketball reserved seats while Joey helped lead the cheers from courtside. She was especially proud when dear friends Lucas & Brett helped take her Tigers back to the state Final Four in basketball, and when their sisters, Kristen & Bethany helped lead the Tiger softball team back to the state finals as well.
In addition, Irene kept an eye on sports away from home ranging from other high schools to college and all the way to the pros. She was always watching games and listening for scores and was a very astute fan, knowing all of the rules, players, conferences and other details. The last game she was able to watch with friends was Ohio State�(TM)s thrilling win over then undefeated Illinois last weekend.
Her last six months were filled with big changes that she handled with grace as she left her home of more than 50 years but quickly adapted to her “darling” apartment at Franklin Terrace.
She had a special place in her heart for her best friends, Doris Minor of Strasburg and the late Amelia Stille. And, of course, Irene always had a fondness for her beloved dog, Muffin.
Irene leaves a lifetime of memories to her survivors, including: sister, June Rehm of Orrville; a nephew, John (Marge) Beaber of Columbus as well as several other nieces and nephews; sister-in-law, Ethel Bixler of Strasburg; special friends, John, Holly, Lucas and Kristen Boylan, Jeff, Wendy, Brett and Bethany Hershberger and Riz, Steve, Renee, Joey (Godsey) and Justin Edwards, David and Christie Ayers and her “grandbabies.”
Along with her parents, husband and daughter, Irene was preceded in death by: two sisters, Grace Beaber-Shurtz and Florence Affolter; and a brother, John Pfaeffli.
Irene�(TM)s life will be celebrated in a ceremony held Tuesday, March 15, at 2:00 p.m. in the Toland-Herzig Funeral Home & Crematory, Strasburg. Interment will be in Strasburg�(TM)s Grandview Union Cemetery. Friends may call in the funeral home on Tuesday one-hour prior to the service.
Those unable to attend or wishing to share a fond memory may sign the online register book for Irene by visiting the “obituaries” link on the funeral home�(TM)s website.
In lieu of flowers, it is suggested that memorial gifts be made to either the First Lutheran Church, 211 8th St. SW, Strasburg, 44680 or the American Cancer Society, 201-A W. Ohio Ave., Dover, 44622.
Toland-Herzig Funeral Homes & Crematory