Born March 31,1935 in Minersville, she was a daughter of the late Michael and Mary (Sapp) Petock. They lived on Lewis St. When Irene was 2 years old, the family moved to buck Run, where they lived for most of their lives. Irene was later joined by two brothers, Michael in 1943, and John in 1947. She attended Kindergarten and grades 1 through 8 in the Buck Run schools (Foster Twp.). She enjoyed her years there and was awarded the Thorne Prize at her Eighth grade Graduation. She graduated as Valedictorian of the 1952 class of Cass Township High School.
Irene’s parents Michael and Mary led hard coal region lives. Michael worked in local coal mines and for various John Rich enterprises. Mary worked in several local garment factories, all the while raising 3 children without the help of modern conveniences. I remember the good old fashioned coal stove and the wringer washer, among other items. They were faithful lifelong members of St. Nicholas Ukrainian Catholic Church in Minersville and raised their 3 children in those rites and customs. We remember early Easter morning processions around the outside of the church, our special Christmas Eve supper that mother worked hard on providing, and the church choir coming to our house to sing Christmas carols.
She attended Penn State Pottsville Center, commuting by bus every day from Buck Run and hiking between classes on Mahontongo St. and the Bunker Hill School. Then she transferred to Kutztown State University where she majored in biology and other secondary education subjects. She was inducted into the Kappa Delta Pi honor society. She finished her work in Jan 1956 after 1 ½ years. Irene continued attending classes elsewhere, enabling her to teach in elementary schools. Her first teaching position was in the Lincoln Park School in The Wilson School District for the second half of the 1956 school year. She was then hired by Dr. Ralph Geigle to teach in the Reading School District, working there 7 years in the Oakbrook and Thomas Ford buildings.
She was well known and greatly admired as the 6th grade teacher at the former Lincoln Elementary School, Frackville; Her students would often stop and say, hello, when she was out and about, remembering her quote “Lift that barge, tote that bale”!
When Irene and her husband first met, Joe had already served four years in the U.S. Navy and Irene was already teaching in the Reading School District. Thouh he was working in Jenkintown at the time, his home was still in Turkey Run, Shenandoah, and her home was still mainly in Buck Run.
She was a member of St. Joseph the Worker Catholic Parish, Frackville. She and her husband Joseph enjoyed attending and supporting many of the local organizations and community functions.
In addition to her parents she was preceded in death by a brother Michael Petock
Irene is survived by her husband of 59 years Joseph A Kamarousky; a daughter Mary (Patrick) Glodzik, Hamburg; brother; John (Bernice) Petock, Norristown; nieces and nephews.
A Mass of Christian burial will be celebrated at 10:30 a.m. Thursday in St. Ann’s Roman Catholic Church, Frackville, with Rev. Brian Miller as celebrant; A viewing will be held from 9:30 until the time of mass at the church. Interment will be in Annunciation Cemetery, Englewood, Frackville.
Albert L. Gricoski Funeral Home has charge of arrangements.