Irene Elizabeth Smith was born in Fulton County, Arkansas, on November 24, 1921, and she died three days after her 101 birthday on November 27, 2022. She was one of eight children, and the family migrated to the Paso Robles area in 1929.
Irene was a graduate of Templeton High School, and she married Nicholas Marquart Sr. in 1939 when she was 17 years old. Nick and Irene lived on the family ranch their entire married lives. Irene was a wonderful cook and loved to entertain. Her lemon meringue pies and olallieberry cobblers were a favorite of everyone, and her cookie jar was always full for the grandkids, the great-grandkids, and anyone who stopped by for a cup of coffee.
She was very proud to be Queen of Pioneer Day in 2021. She was a dignified, elegant, and proper Queen, as she was her entire life. She will be deeply missed.
Irene and Nick were always active in community affairs. They were Farm Bureau members since 1939, community leaders for Templeton 4-H Club, members of the Happy Trails RV club, and charter members of the Do Paso Square Dance Club. Irene was active in the Farm Bureau Women, Paso Robles Women’s Club, Paso Robles Republican Women, Templeton Historical Museum, and she was a member of the Central Coast Woodcarvers Association.
Irene is predeceased by her seven brothers and sisters, her husband Nicholas, her son Nicholas Jr., her grandson Nicholas III, and her great-grandson Harrison. She is survived by her daughters Nancy Otto and Lucille Milani (Ray), daughter-in-law Kathy Marquart, grandchildren Nathan Marquart (Anne), Benjamin Marquart (Amanda), Jacob Marquart (Sarah), Tom Otto, Steven Milani (Merrill), Susan Flatt (Dan), twelve great-grandchildren, and one great-great-granddaughter.
Services will be at 11 AM Friday, December 9, 2022, at Bethel Lutheran Church, 295 Old County Road, Templeton, CA. Light luncheon to follow in the church social hall.
In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to the Templeton Historical Museum Society, P.O. Box 788, Templeton, CA 93465, or the Templeton Community Library Association, P.O. Box 292, Templeton, CA 93465.