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Irene ‘Pugs’ Groote

December 23, 2018
Estherville News

A Celebration of Life service will be held for Irene "Pugs" Groote, 88, of Spencer will be held at 1:30 p.m., Thursday, Dec. 27, 2018, at Faith Lutheran Church in Spencer with Pastor Lee Laaveg officiating. Interment will be held at a later date at Homan Township Cemetery, Sibley. Irene passed away on Wednesday, Dec. 19, 2018 at St. Luke's Home in Spencer.

Visitation will be held from 12:30-1:30 p.m., Thursday at the church in Spencer.

Irene "Pugs" Joyce Groote, was born Feb. 26, 1930 at home in Little Rock, Iowa. She was the daughter of Herman Henry and Tena (Heronemus) Behrens. She graduated from Sibley High School.

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Irene married Wayne Tangeman in 1952, They had one daughter, Jone. Their marriage was later dissolved. On May 13, 1961 she married her true love Milton Groote in Sibley, Iowa.

Irene held many jobs but loved being a telephone operator for Northwestern Bell in Sibley. After Milt passed in 2005, Irene moved to Spencer to be closer to her family.

Irene was a member of Redeemer Lutheran Church in Estherville and attended Faith Lutheran Church in Spencer. She also helped serve the community meal at Hope Church for several years. She was a life member of the American Legion Auxiliary.

Irene enjoyed spending her free time crocheting, creating crafts, sewing, tending to her plants and feeding birds.

Irene is survived by her daughter Jone (Jeff) Lewis, two grandchildren Laura (Brian) Ver Mulm and Brian Justus, four great-grandchildren Katelyn, Tristin, Isabelle, and Allyson; two great-great-grandchildren Kinnick and Fallon; and many nieces and nephews.

Irene is also survived by her sister Verdella "Squeaks" Igou of San Jose, California and her sister-in-law Mary (Harland) Cummings of Sioux City, Iowa.

Irene is preceded in death by her parents, three brothers Robert "Bud" Behrens, Bennett "Gabby" Behrens, Alvin "Butch" Behrens and her husband Milton Groote.

Online condolences may be left for the family at



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