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Irene E Brion

Irene E Brion

Irene E. Brion, aged 94, died on Thursday January 12,2023 at AdventHealth, Durand, WI with her family by her side. 

Irene was born August 2,1928 to Edward and Christina (Hetrick) Traun on Traun Bluff, Buffalo County.   After attending school, Irene helped neighbors with their young children and homesteads. At an early age Irene met Louis Brion, who was hired help for her parents.  They married June 4th,1945 at Saint Mary’s Assumption Church in Durand, WI. 

Irene, Louie and their six children farmed on Maxville Prairie until 1959 when they purchased a farm in Cascade Valley. While helping on the farm, Irene started working as a nursing assistant at Saint Benedict’s hospital. Irene then accepted a job at the Buffalo County Human Services department.

Louie died in 1994 just shy of their 50th wedding anniversary.  Irene later married Ken Bluem at St. Joseph’s Catholic Church, Arkansaw, WI. They were married for 20 years. After Ken’s death Irene eventually moved to the Home Place in Durand.

Irene was involved with many volunteer activities which included the Maxville Prairie Cub and Brownie Scouts. She was the founder of the Maxville Prairie Girl Scout troop. Irene loved to read, dance, sew and play cards. She loved her visits with her family, friends and her nieces and nephews. Her care for others will not be forgotten.

Irene is survived by her children, Marie (Robert) Wachtler, Charles (Diane), Mary (Jack) Iverson, Diane (Steve) Kraus and David (Mary), daughter-in-law, Antionette Brion, 12 grandchildren, 22 great-grandchildren, one sister-in-law, Bernice "Bunny" Traun, nieces, nephews, other relatives and friends. She was preceded in death by her parents, Edward and Christine Traun, her 7 sisters and 2 brothers, husbands, Louis Brion and Kenneth Bluem, and one son, Donald.

Irene’s burial will be on Tuesday, January 17, 2023 at the Cascade Cemetery at 3pm. A mass and reception will be held at a later date to celebrate Irene’s life.

Special thanks to AdventHealth-Durand staff for their care during her last few days. Irene has asked that memorials be made to help the poor through a charity of your choice.

Rhiel Funeral Home & Cremation Services, Durand, is serving the family.


  1. John and Judy Parr

    Our sympathies are with all

  2. Rita Koller Kepple

    Sorry for your loss. Praying for you during this difficult time.

  3. Joyce reuter

    Her kindness gave her a place in heaven. When I had surgery, she visited with a delicious plate of cookies and had a nice visit.

  4. Erik and Rebecca Reuter

    Our sympathies to the family of Irene. Will always remember her charity and care she provided to many people. God Bless her.

  5. Beth Winsand

    My days working with Irene at Buffalo Co DHHS is such a sweet memory. She brought such kindness, caring and love to all the families she served. Always went the extra mile. Everybody in our office loved her so much and treasured her friendship well beyond her years at Buffalo County. From her days at her lake home and beyond she made a special point to invite us over. All around the sweetest. Deepest sympathy to her family and friends. Rest in peace Irene.

  6. Ann Yelle

    Irene had unending love. I was blessed to receive that love when we both worked at BCDHSS. What a lady. You children had the best mother.

  7. Mary A Schwartz

    So sorry for your loss she was a great lady and i will miss her smile .I have many great memories when I helped her and Ken heaven gained another Angle she was ready too go home to be with all those she loved and well be waiting with open arms when we go to be with her.

  8. Kathy Luebker

    Dear Family, My deepest sympathy to each of you. I feel so blessed to have visited Irene recently. Irene was a gracious lady! Peace to all!

  9. Nicki Brantner

    Irene will always hold a special place in my heart. At the most difficult time we were being placed in a foster home. Irene felt bad cause we were crying, she took my sister,brother and myself to taster freeze for a ice cream cone.

  10. Gay Hurlburt

    Irene is enjoying her heavenly reward that she deserves so much. Her friends and family are in our prayers. With deepest sympathy, Monte and Gay Hurlburt

  11. Brenda Burke Bowen

    Loved Aunt Irene! She was such a wonderful hostess to us when Granny Traun passed away. Mama loved her dearly and I know there is such a great reunion in heaven! Prayers and sincere condolences from all of us Burkes!


    We will miss dear Irene who was a wonderful neighbor. Had great times at their house. She will be missed by so many. RIP dear lady.

    Kris and Dave Polzer

  13. Sister Deborah Schwab

    Another angel in heaven! My deepest sympathy to the family and all who loved her. Aunt Irene will be greatly missed. May knowing she is resting peacefully in heaven bring you comfort.

  14. Barb Gibson

    My condolences to Irene's Children and relatives. Good days staying with the family as a classmate with Marie at St. Mary's.

  15. Diane Longsdorf

    So very sorry for your loss. Irene was a kind and caring person.

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