Irene Hillson

Irene Hillson

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DENVER — Irene M. Hillson, 97, of Denver, formerly of Waterloo, died Thursday, June 25, at home.

She was born Nov. 15, 1922, in Iowa, daughter of Albert K. and Hilda A. Klooster Johnson. She married Robert G. “Bob” “Todd” Hillson on June 1, 1946, in Blue Earth, Minn.; he died Feb. 21, 2009.

She worked as a family assistant for many families at nursing homes and private homes.

Survivors: a son, Daris Hillson of Waterloo; two daughters, Adri (Bob) Lang of Denver, and Betty Otting of Waterloo; four grandchildren, James (Rosie) Hillson, Gregory Jensen, Kendra (Quinn) Taplin, and Kayla (Bryan) Sinclair; a stepgrandson, Ray Soto; two foster grandchildren, Jennie Love and Mickey Henderson; nine great-grandchildren, Monica Rynearson, Ivy Mae Hillson, Payton Hillson, Cora Jensen, Sawyer Jensen, Alaina Taplin, Nora Taplin, Karah Sinclair, and Brock Sinclair; three stepgreat-grandchildren, Olivia, Gabbie and Sophia Soto; and a sister, Lois Patten of Grinnell.

Preceded in death by: her parents; her husband; a sister, Margaret Wirtjes; and a brother, Raymond Johnson.

Services: 1 p.m. Friday, July 3, at Kearns Funeral Service Kimball Chapel with burial in the Garden of Memories Cemetery, both in Waterloo. Visitation is 5 to 7 p.m. Thursday, and also one hour before the service at the funeral home. The family asks that masks be worn. The service will be recorded and posted to the funeral home website.

Memorials: to the family.

Irene enjoyed visiting with family and friends, caregiving, reading and both flower and vegetable gardening.

Kearns Funeral Service Kimball Chapel is in charge of arrangements (319) 233-3146. Online condolences may be left at

As a young woman, Irene felt the conviction to follow the teachings of Jesus and became part of a worldwide fellowship of believers. She remained true to that choice the rest of her life.

To plant a tree in memory of Irene Hillson as a living tribute, please visit Tribute Store.

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