Merle Irene Alber

May 3, 2011

Merle Irene Alber

Irene Alber, 68, of American Falls, passed away Tuesday May 3, 2011 at Power County Hospital in American Falls surrounded by her family, friends, and loving husband of 43 years Richard “Sonny” Alber. She entered peacefully into eternal rest as she joined our Heavenly Father in Paradise, and for that we rejoice. Merle Irene Harris was born on April 6, 1943 in American Falls, Idaho; the oldest of four daughters of Ernest Robert and Grace (Brown) Harris. Irene was raised in Aberdeen in the house her father built, which was a source of great pride for the family. She attended Elementary School in Grandview, and graduated from Aberdeen High School in 1961. Shortly after graduation, Irene moved to California where she met and married Jim Ridle. They were blessed with a son Troy James in 1963. Irene and Troy returned to Aberdeen in 1966. Irene soon met the love of her life and soul mate Sonny Alber in Aberdeen and they began their 43 year journey together on August 4, 1967. Sonny took Troy under his wing as if he were his own son as he and Irene started their family together. In October of 1968 their daughter Shawna Jo was born and less than a year later in October of 1969, they welcomed their third child Mindy Lee. Over the years Irene worked at various jobs including Lamb Weston, Simplot, INL, Washington Construction, and Velvet among others. The family moved to American Falls in 1977 to open Sonny’s Service Center where Irene took care of the bookkeeping and many other duties for their business until Sonny retired in 1986. Irene continued to work until 1996. Irene and Sonny loved camping, campfires, fishing, hunting, snowmobiling, traveling, and just being outdoors. Sonny’s racing career took the family all over the country, and Irene captured it all in photographs. She kept scrapbooks and records of every race and every detail of their travels. Irene and Sonny were always together and logged many miles traveling from coast to coast of the U.S., Canada, and even made a month long trip down the California Baja through Mexico. Irene was a member of the American Legion Auxiliary Post #3. She loved her kitties, gardening, cooking, crafts, crocheting, collecting her favorite things, music (especially Johnny Cash and Elvis), and spending time with family and friends of which she was blessed with so many. The door to their home was always open and there was always room for one more at the table, one more to spend the night. One of the things she loved most in the world was spending time with her grandchildren. Although she only had eight of her own, she was “Grandma Irene” to so many more. Irene is survived by her husband Sonny ; children, Troy, Shawna (Justin) Kuttler, Mindy (Trini) Ramirez; grandchildren Jordan, Jamie, Teauna, Hailie, Telina, Krystal, Alyssa, and Shauntae; sisters Shirley Labes, and Rita (Steve) Kelso; brother in laws Gene Alber , and Bryce Chapman; sister in law Donna Mae(Bill) Price; five nieces , nine nephews and great nieces and nephews; along with many friends. They will all miss her dearly. Irene was preceded in death by her parents; sisters, Sandra, Vernie, and the Harris twins; niece Peggy; brother in laws, Dennis and Ben. The family would like to extend their deepest gratitude to the nurses and staff at Power County Nursing Home for the extraordinary care, love, and respect they showed Irene over the past weeks; As well as Davis Rose Mortuary. A graveside service will be held May 21, 2011 at the Aberdeen Cemetery at 11:00am.
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