Irene Eanes passed away on February 4, 2024. She was born on January 13, 1936 in Pittsylvania County, VA to tobacco farmers, Robert and Josie Layne Thompson (both predeceased). She was one of eleven siblings: James (predeceased), Monroe (predeceased), Willie, Claudie, David (predeceased), Inez, Bonnie, Bobbie, Sue (predeceased), and Mary. Growing up, Irene loved to walk through the woods, play in the river, and on Sundays walk to church. Most days she spoke of the love she had working on the family farm alongside her beloved mother and father.
She met James Eanes (predeceased) and they married in Gretna, VA and moved to Norfolk where they purchased a home and had six children: Junior (predeceased), John (predeceased), Jim, Joe, Josephine, and Jacqueline. Her grandchildren are Chris, Jessica, Jenna, Samantha, Nicholas (predeceased), and Sarah Jane. She is also survived by great grandchildren and four-legged grand-pups.
As our mother did as a child, we would walk on Sundays to Norview Baptist Church where she was a lifelong member for over 60 years. After our father passed away, she later married Lindsay J. Mowery (predeceased) who was a World War II veteran. In her spare time, she loved to garden and sew. She was very talented and sewed most of our clothes for special occasions and she enjoyed sewing for neighbors and friends. After Lindsay passed away and grandchildren began to arrive into her life, she dedicated her time to them. She enjoyed picking them up from school, taking them to lunch, and going to their sports events.
Irene was also dedicated to her church. Every Sunday after service she would go and visit members in her Sunday school class who were unable to attend. Irene would bring them lunch and read the lessons to them. This was not done out of obligation but instead for her love of God and helping others. Being the youngest neighbor when she moved into our neighborhood many years ago, in later years she found herself being their caregivers and doing so with a generous heart.
She loved driving her Jeep around town and going berry picking in the spring, canning anything she could get her hands on. Her garden was always full of roses, peonies, and the tallest sunflowers you’ve ever seen – and we can’t forget the time she won first place at Davenport’s Barber Shop in Ocean View for growing the largest tomato.
We have had our share of sorrow and blessings but through it all, our mother remained strong and never lost her faith in God. She was kind, forgiving, and always willing to help others without expectations. We love you with all of our hearts, Mama (Nannie), and thank you for always being there for us!
The family would like to thank Ronda and Patricia and their family and staff for giving our mother love and comfort throughout these past four years and for allowing her to live this chapter of her life with dignity.
We ask that if you have ever had the opportunity to know Irene or have ever been a recipient of her love and thoughtfulness or remember her sweet beautiful smile, that in lieu of flowers or cards that you would please consider a donation to the Alzheimer’s Association.