Irene Dolores (Flores) Young, 74, of Colstrip, beloved mother, wife, grandmother, sister, and aunt went with the Lord on January 23, 2022 after a long struggle with kidney disease and the effects of a stroke in 2016. She was born on May 24, 1947 in Blue Island, Illinois to the late Lester “Lefty” & Lola (Vasquez) Flores.
Irene grew up in Blue Island, Illinois along with her two sisters, Mary Ann and Pat. The three played, laughed, cried, argued, and loved each other as sisters do. In 1961, Irene graduated from St. Benedict Grade School and in 1965 graduated from Dwight D. Eisenhower High School, both located in Blue Island. After high school, Irene worked at Harris Bank in downtown Chicago for eight years.
Irene loved Hawaii. It was on her third trip to the Aloha State in July of 1973 with some friends that she met the love of her life, Harold “Harry” Young. She wasn’t looking for anyone in particular, but there was something special about this skinny, lonely sailor who approached her at a disco. They sat and visited before taking a walk along Waikiki Beach-a walk that lasted all night and ending with a marriage proposal. Irene’s response to this proposal was, “We’ll see.” That “We’ll see” turned into a long-distance relationship full of letters and collect phone calls that Irene’s parents never knew about. Harold would end these phone conversations with, “I love you” and Irene always responded, “Me, too.” They were married on December 22, 1973; and although Harold promised they’d have at least 50 years together, they gave it a heck of a run with 48 loving years.
After they were married, Irene and Harold moved to Hawaii where Harold was stationed. It was there that their son, Harry, was born. When Harold was discharged from the Navy, the couple moved to Colstrip, MT. This is where they lived and raised all four of their children: Harry, Jack, Kristen, and Lee.
Irene enjoyed watching her children be active in the many sports in Colstrip and drove them around the state for various baseball/softball games and swim meets. In the fall, she would spend chilly nights and mornings watching her sons play football and countless miles attending Speech and Drama meets her kids participated in. She loved that all her kids played in the pep band, and while most cheered on the teams, Irene would cheer on the band. She loved music. Her favorite band of all-time was The Beatles-her favorite Beatle being George. To this day, her record collection contains all of their original records. Another favorite pastime of Irene’s was crocheting. While Harold watched the Cubs on TV or the kids watched their movies, she would crochet scarves, blankets, and sometimes winter caps.
Irene was preceded in death by her parents and her in-laws, Horace “Tink” & Effie Young whom she always called “Dad” and “Mom.”
Irene is survived by her loving husband of 48 years, Harold Young of Colstrip, her children Harry Young of Colstrip, Jack (Angie) Young of Harlem, MT, daughter Kristen (Wes) Hinzman of Rapid City, SD, and Lee (Laura) Young stationed in Okinawa, and; her grandchildren: Madison, Gracie, Elijah, and Jackson; her sisters: Mary Ann Schaafsma and Pat Flores-Muller; her nephews and niece: Rick Young, James Young, David Schaafsma, Kari Ann (Schaafsma) Moen, Patrick L. Flores-Muller, Christopher Young, and Travis Young along with numerous great-nieces and great-nephews.
While we will always love and miss you everyday, Mom, this is not a goodbye. To borrow what Dad would often say on his way out the door for work, “We’ll see you when we see you.”