Irene L. (Clarkson) Tracey, age 91, passed away on Wednesday, March 10, 2021 at her daughter, Linda’s, home in South Easton, Massachusetts, surrounded by her loving family. Born in Fall River, Massachusetts on June 30, 1929, she was the daughter of the late William and Mary B. (Murphy) Clarkson. She was raised in Somerset, where she graduated from Somerset High School with the Class of 1948.
Irene met her husband to be, Thomas B. Tracey, at a dance at the Grange Hall in Somerset. Irene and Tom were married a few months after she graduated on September 18, 1948, in Saint Patrick's Church in her hometown of Somerset. Together they made their first home in Dorchester, where Irene took on the role of a homemaker, raising and caring for her young family. In addition to raising her children, Irene helped her husband at his dry-cleaning company, making alterations on customer's clothes in her own home.
In 1955, Irene and Tom moved their family out of the city, settling in the small suburban town of Walpole, Massachusetts, where they raised their sixteen children. As her children grew up, Irene took a position with Watson's Candies, first in downtown Walpole and later down the street at their new location, working as a chocolate dipper. In addition, she offer home healthcare services to folks who needed some help in the Walpole area.
While Irene stayed busy, she always made time for her faith. She was a longtime member of Blessed Sacrament Church in Walpole, where she was a strong supporter of the Legion of Mary and took an active role with the drill team, the Walpole Briggadettes. After settling into her new home in Plainville, Massachusetts, Irene became a member of Saint Martha's Church, where she volunteered countless hours for the annual Christmas Fair. Her charity work did not end at the church doors, as she also regularly volunteered at Sturdy Memorial Hospital in Attleboro.
With sixteen children, Irene kept busy, she often turned to her close friends for some social interactions. Together, they formed "The Ironing Club," getting together weekly to iron their own family's clothes and enjoy conversation. Later in life, this club turned into a card playing group, where lifelong friendships were formed. Irene also enjoyed getting out of her home on occasion, joining bowling leagues at Petracca's Lanes and Hi Way Bowl Way in Walpole. She always looked forward to a night of dancing with Tom at the Knights of Columbus Hall and entertaining everyone in her home with her skills on the piano. Most of all, Irene was dedicated to her family, and was absolutely delighted at the birth of all of her grandchildren and great grandchildren.
Beloved wife of the late Thomas B. Tracey.
Loving mother of Linda L. Tracey-Clifton and her husband, David, of South Easton, Patricia A. Millette and her husband, Frank, of Salem, New Hampshire, Sandra M. Tracey of Attleboro, Kathleen Tracey-Waple and her husband, Thomas, of Walpole, Deborah M. Lightbody and her husband, David, of Walpole, Virginia Tracey of Walpole, Donna M. Quigley and her husband, Robert, of Foxboro, Thomas M. Tracey and his wife, Cheryl Clifton, of North Easton, Cynthia T. Smith and her husband, Earl, of Walpole, Wendy M. Mazenkas and her husband, Michael, of Walpole, Karen A. Tracey of Walpole, MA, Jacqueline M. Titus of Attleboro, Michelle L. Melanson and her husband, Steve, of Plainville, the late David M. Tracey, the late Michael T. Tracey, and the late Mary Tracey.
Cherished grandmother of Dale Thistle and his wife, Leah, Christine Heritage and her husband, Ryan, Joe Millette, Lauren Gawlak and her husband, Billy, Zachary Waple, Madison Waple, David Lightbody, Jr., Danielle Taylor and her husband, Ed, Derek Lightbody, Conor Griffin, Sean Griffin, Joe Quigley, Robbie Quigley, Sarah Quigley, Taylor Tracey, Vanessa Smith, Tara Hayes, Jeffrey Hayes, Eric Hayes, Veda Hart, Irene Tracey, Harvest Perez, Johnathan Titus, Kyle Titus, Meredith Melanson, Emily Melanson, Andrew Melanson, Ryan Tracey, Nicole Tracey, and the late Alexandra Smith; and great grandmother of Jordan Heritage, Erin Heritage, Matthew Heritage, Adeline Gawlak, Angela Taylor, Madeline Lightbody, Brenna Daley-Smith, Lia Hayes, Kylie Hayes, Addilyn Hayes, Ryan Tracey, and Evan Tracey.
Sister of the late Florence McCann, the late Robert Clarkson, and the late Ruth Clarkson.
As a result of the ongoing and ever-developing health crisis in the world and with genuine concern for the people whom they love, Irene's family has decided that her funeral services and mass will be private, with interment taking place in Saint Francis Cemetery in Walpole. Those wishing to view the Mass may do so at http://bit.ly/youtubePWC on Tuesday, March 16, 2021 at 12:00 Noon. A Celebration of Irene’s Life will be held when all can gather without restrictions.
Irene’s family wishes to thank Old Colony Hospice, especially Paulette and Nancy. Memorial donations can be made to Old Colony Hospice 321 Manley Street West Bridgewater, MA 02379.
Arrangements by James H. Delaney & Son Funeral Home, Walpole.