Irene Love

Irene Love, of Ft Myers Florida, formerly of Clarkston Michigan, passed away unexpectedly, in Ft Myers on March 12, 2018, Age 66. Beloved Wife of Richard Love. Adoring “Nanny” to Harper Petersen, Austen Petersen, and Isaac Hiro. Loving Mom to Kaitlin (Russell) Petersen, Lindsay (Russell) Hiro, and Meredith Russell. Daughter of John and Roberta Thomas of Clarkston, Michigan. Sister to Paul Thomas, Dan Thomas, and Elaine Andrade.
Irene graduated from Clarkston High School, and raised her family in Clarkston with her ex-husband, James Russell. After her divorce, she met her loving husband, Rich Love, of Ft Myers Florida, also formerly of Clarkston. After a fairy tale romance that flourished despite the distance, they married and moved to Florida in 1998. It had always been her dream to live in Florida, and she loved Ft Myers: the weather, the palm trees, the Gulf, and all the shopping! But, she always considered Clarkston her home, and they returned to the area every summer for the past 10 years. They resided at Clearwater Campground in Ortonville in their motorhome; spending the summers surrounded by family and friends. Irene loved to bake and cook. She was an avid reader, and loved History. But above all, she loved spending time with her sweet grand babies. She made her home and her motorhome the most fun, relaxing, and enjoyable place that anyone could ever be.
Irene worked for many years in Clarkston Schools as a Paraprofessional. She enjoyed her work in the schools very much because she was still able to spend lots of time with her girls as they were growing up. After moving to Florida she began working for Collier County Schools, also as a Paraprofessional, and later accepting a position as Assistant to the Athletic Director; a job she truly loved, and spoke of very highly. She retired from Collier Schools in December of 2016.
Her love for all of her extended family and her great friends was immeasurable. She knew everyone’s birthdays, had monogrammed baby blankets made for every one she knew, and would bake special desserts for people as often as possible, for no other reason than a casual get together. If she knew you liked a certain pie or cake or cookie, you could bet on her making it for you every time she had you over. Her recipe collection was immense, and her secret ingredient was Love.
She will be incredibly missed by all of her loved ones. Her passing was untimely, unfair, and has been extremely difficult to accept. A Memorial will take place on June 23rd at a private residence. Her family and friends have planned a party, to remember her spirit, her care, and her radiance. Invitations to this event have been mailed. If you would like information about attending, and did not receive an invitation, please contact her sister Elaine Andrade at

5 Responses to "Irene Love"

  1. Jamie Patterson   June 6, 2018 at 2:19 pm

    Very well said Kaitlin.I was so lucky to meet your mother and have some wonderful evening together with her and Rich.My husband and Rich hit it off well too ,talking Harleys and cars..We even got to play cards with you and your family and had a great time.I was glad she retired and was hoping they would come see us in Louisiana.
    I am so sorry about your loss and I do know how much she loved her grandchildren and her girls..Wish we could be there this June.I will keep you all in my prayers .Love and hugs to you all.So glad we all met..God Bless..

  2. Kathleen Vaughn Going Pursley   June 10, 2018 at 10:42 pm

    Irene and each of her siblings were very much a part of my growing up! Irene was my first best friend and has remained that through out the years!
    Mr & Mrs Thomas were like second parents to me. I can remember visiting weekends to their Grandmother and Grandfather’s farm in Ortonville. Those times are among the best memories I have and I will always cherish!
    I miss my dear friend tremendously and cannot begin to express how much in words!
    My heart goes out to her family and their loss of such a special, loving and giving person!♥️

  3. robert c BROWN   June 15, 2018 at 8:56 am

    Dear Thomas Family, We were so happy to meet Irene last summer when John brought her over to meet us. Irene had a very outgoing personality and we enjoyed our visit with them. She will surely be missed by many. Bob & Sarah Brown

  4. Skip Peloquin   June 18, 2018 at 9:35 am

    Rich,Dan and Paul…So sorry for you loss…..Skip Peloquin

  5. Jerry and Karen Case   June 23, 2018 at 8:09 am

    So sorry for your loss. Irene had a warm and wonderful heart, a beautiful soul, and was truly an amazing woman in every way. I feel fortunate to have been able to call her friend. Love and prayers. Jerry and Karen Case


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