Riess, Catherine Irma

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Catherine Irma Riess passed away peacefully at the home of her son, Dean, and daughter-in-law, Jan, Monday night, May 31, 2010, in Blacksburg, Va. Irma had been in hospice care since last December. She was blessed to have very little pain, and was fully aware of her surroundings to the end. She faced her situation with amazing grace, strength, and dignity; her only worry was that she would be a bother to others. She will be sorely missed by her immediate family, Dean and Jan Riess; granddaughter and son-in-law, Deanne and Jay Lucas; granddaughter, Paula Sherwood; and greatgrandchildren, Sarah and Rachel Lucas, and Reese and Gabriel Sherwood. Her love and guidance will remain with us always. Irma was born November 14, 1911, to Charles and Mary Calvin in North English, Iowa. She graduated from North English High School in 1930, along with Layton Riess, whom she married in 1938. They were both victims of the Great Depression, and thus learned very well the principles of hard work and dedication. Irma briefly attended Iowa State Teachers College, and then taught in country schools (Boltz and Hawkeye-Dayton) for eight years. After her marriage to Layton, they farmed in the North English area, starting as tenants and finally owning their own farm until their retirement in 1977. Layton died in 1994, and Irma moved to Blacksburg in 1999, maintaining an independent residence until this past December. All through her life, Irma had a circle of devoted friends, which was shown through messages of tribute and love, especially on her 50th anniversary and in the past six months. Irma was predeceased by her parents; her brothers, John and Larry Calvin; and her sisters, Donna Osweiler and Myrna McHale. She is survived by Dean’s family, her sister, Grace Walla of Calgary, Alberta, and numerous nieces and nephews. Memorial gifts may be sent to the Blacksburg United Methodist Church Haiti Project (24060), or to the Carilion New River Valley Hospice. A memorial service will be held later this summer in North English, Iowa. Arrangements by McCoy Funeral Home, Blacksburg.