Irene Margaret Nashold (1923-2020) passed away peacefully Friday, January 11, 2020.
Irene led a full life centered on family, work, and faith. She grew up in Sewickley, Pennsylvania, on a bluff overlooking the Ohio River. Axel and Helga, immigrants from Denmark, raised her and her brothers and half-sisters to value education, family, country, and hard work. After graduating from Indiana University with a BS in Biology, she received her RN and worked as a public health nurse and scrub nurse managing seven operating theaters. At university, she met her beloved husband, Blaine. They later eloped and were married for 69 years.
The family home was the heart of Iren’s life, where she nurtured her four children, five grandchildren, many dogs, relatives, and visitors from around the world.
Irene was known for her wonderful cooking, and invitations at her table were highly prized. Irene and Blaine took up sailing and shared many adventures on the water with their children and friends. Feeling a special love for dogs, Irene rescued and trained many. She enjoyed serving as a judge for the American Kennel Club. As president o the Duke Hospital Women’s Auxiliary, she was instrumental in creating the first gift shop in the hospital to raise funds for the Auxiliary’s work. At her children’s school, she started and ran a book fair for many years, where funds were raised for the first library.
Throughout the community, Irene was known for her faithful devotion to St. Philips Church where she worked on the Vestry, Altar Guild, Daughters of the King, and the Episcopal Church Women. As head of the office volunteers, she began bringing bags of sandwiches to share with the hungry who came to the church office looking for food. This action was the genesis of the shared creation of the Urban Ministries Shelter and Soup Kitchen. Many fellow parishioners remember her welcoming spirit and kindness.
Irene’s strong character, intelligence, beauty, humor, love, faith, and zest for life moved her to help others and lead by example. Later in life, she always reflected on her wonderful life with gratitude and joy. Her positive attitude helped all those around her appreciate her bright spirit and graciousness. Many of her caregivers became her friends, and she held a deep respect for the efforts on her behalf. As she faced the end of her life, her faith sustained her, her love enveloped all those around her, and her spirit embraced what was to come.
This prayer was found in her wallet after her death: “O Lord, support us all the day long, until the shadows lengthen, and the evening comes, and the busy world is hushed, and the fever of life is over, and our work is done. Then in thy mercy, grant us a safe lodging, and a holy rest, and peace at last. Amen.”
A memorial service will be held at St. Philips Church on Friday, February 7, 2020, at 10 am.
The family appreciates flowers but encourages gifts and donations to be given to Urban Ministries in Irene’s name instead.