January 6, 1927 - February 8, 2017 OKLAHOMA CITY Irene Trevino Nievez, 90, passed away peacefully at home surrounded by her husband, daughters, sons-in-law, granddaughter, nieces and nephews on Wednesday, February 8, 2017, following a year long illness.Irene was born on the family farm near Fletcher, OK on January 6, 1927 to Felix Valdez Trevino and Louise Roach, a member of the Comanche Tribe. She was one of the great-granddaughters of Comanche Chief, Tabananica. Irene was the fourth of the five daughters of Felix and Louise: Celia T. Badillo (deceased), Tommie T. (deceased @ the age of 9), Mary Louise Watson (husband Harold), and Rose Castillo (husband Ralph). When Irene was 20 months old her mother died after giving birth to the fifth daughter. A few years later her father married Mary Gonzalez and this union produced nine children: Felix Jr. (deceased), Tommie Maez (deceased), Richard (wife Elisa), infant child "Little Annie" (deceased), Ana Marie Milligan (husband Bob), Robert "Bobby" T., Benny (wife Judy), Martin, and Michael (wife Nancy).Irene graduated from Fletcher High School and attended Central State College, now UCO, earning a B.S. degree in Biology and General Sciences. Her enrollment at Central State was due to the proactive actions of older sister, Mary Louise, with the support of her father. It was unusual in that day and age, considering that she was female, poor, Mexican, Indian, and with many younger siblings. It was a testament to the character of her father, Felix. After college, Irene went on to train in Laboratory Medical Technology at St. Anthony Hospital in OKC. For a time she worked at the offices of Drs. Parrish and McKee, followed by a turn at University Hospital, before finally retiring as Hematology Supervisor from the Children's Hospital after more than 30 years.Irene is survived by her lifelong love and husband of 63 years, Henry, and daughters, Teresa Sansalone and husband Victor, Lydia Fuller and husband David, Catherine O'Connor and husband Michael. She is also leaving behind her precious grandchildren, Mario Sansalone and fiance Matthew Alderman, Miguel Sansalone and wife Claire Tramba, Alex and wife Dana Fuller, Caroline Fuller. Also Danny, Jamie, and Leslie O'Connor and Chris and wife Terri O'Connor, as well as two delightful great-grandchildren, Ben and Will O'Connor. Additionally there are numerous cousins, nieces, nephews and a multitude of friends. Thank you to the newest friends made in the last year at St. Ann's Retirement Center who were so welcoming and continue to give comfort in their friendship, especially Fr. MacAulay, Sr. Sylvia, and Jean and Jack Nashert.Irene, along with husband, Henry, recognized the critical importance of education and the opportunities it would offer. They placed a particular priority on the religious education of their daughters, and in spite of personal sacrifice, successfully ushered them through Catholic schooling through high school. Irene and Henry were proud parents and grandparents as the daughters and all the grandchildren studied beyond high school, with two daughters and three grandchildren having earned advanced degrees and three grandchildren currently pursuing advanced degrees. Irene loved many things. Among these were faithfully saying her daily Rosary, reading novels, family gatherings, crossword puzzles, Dancing with the Stars, crypto quotes, the OKC Thunder, her many pets over the years, Mexican food and good wine. She and Henry made dozens of tamales every Christmas until recently.Irene was a lifelong Catholic and until her later years was active in social activities in the church beginning at Little Flower Catholic Church where she and Henry were married and the children were baptized. Then later at St. James where the 3 daughters attended grade school, followed by St. Eugene where she was a Eucharistic minister serving those who could not attend Mass.Irene was a wonderful woman in all of her relationships because of how generous she was with her affection. She was honest, reliable, hardworking, steadfast and faithful to her Catholic beliefs. She was matter-of-fact and accepting of her illness and soothed her family.Rosary will be said Thursday, February 16th, at 7 p.m. at Smith & Kernke N. May Chapel. Mass of Christian Burial will be celebrated Friday, February 17th, at 10 a.m. at St. Eugene Catholic Church with interment to follow at Resthaven Memory Gardens. In lieu of flowers, please consider a donation to a charity of your choice.
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