Irene  R. Yonish

Irene  R. Yonish

Irene Rose Yonish, 91, of Bellevue, Nebraska, passed away on March 17, 2022, in Lincoln, Nebraska. Irene was born on June 11, 1930, in Donora, Pennsylvania, to George and Mary (Galenec) Charinko, who emigrated from Ukraine during the early 1900s. After graduating from Donora High School in 1949, Irene began work as a medical office secretary for Dr. Martin J. Hannigan of Donora. During this time Irene started one of her most enjoyable pursuits in life—traveling and visiting new and exciting places, including New York City, Washington DC, and many Florida beaches. In 1955, on a blind date, Irene met the love of her life, Staff Sgt. George Yonish, U.S. Air Force. Irene and George were married on August 25, 1956, and began their life-long adventure together at Chanute Air Force Base, Illinois. At Chanute, Irene was elected president of the Noncommissioned Officers Wives Club. After starting their family, and during George’s 27-year Air Force career, Irene and George travelled throughout the world and the United States to: Torrejon Air Base, Spain; Whitman Air Force Base, Missouri; Fort Buchanan, San Juan, Puerto Rico; Ramey Air Force Base, Puerto Rico; Fairchild Air Force Base, Washington; Offutt Air Force Base, Nebraska, and Clark Air Base, Republic of the Philippines. During these many challenging moves, Irene was the source of stability and support for George and their family. Following George’s Air Force retirement in 1976, they moved to their new home in Bellevue and Irene began working for the Army and Air Force Exchange Service (AAFES) store at Offutt. Irene loved her AAFES work. Oftentimes she was the first employee to arrive at the store each morning. She treated everyone she met with respect and compassion, and she was one of the longest AAFES employees with 41 years of service. Also in Nebraska, Irene devoted countless volunteer hours as a teacher at the Offutt Capehart Chapel. Irene loved and cherished her work with the young children at the chapel, and the children loved Irene. Irene and George continued their love of travel by making many trips together within the U.S. and around the world. They particularly enjoyed sunny beach vacations with family and friends. Irene also was an excellent cook and hostess. She shined especially during the Christmas holidays and countless family celebrations and gatherings. After George passed away in 2007, Irene eventually moved to Lincoln to be closer to her daughter Kimberly and her family. Irene is survived by her son, CAPT Brian George Yonish, USNR (Ret.), (Kersten) Clifton, Virginia; daughter Cynthia Ann Miller, (Scott) Olathe, Kansas; daughter Kimberly Marie Kallhoff, (Jeff) Roca, Nebraska; and four grandchildren: Dr. Brian George Yonish, Jr., Morgantown, West Virginia, Sarah Rose Kallhoff, Jack Fitzgerald Kallhoff, and Olivia AnnMarie Kallhoff, all in Roca.

Visitation: Wednesday, March 23 10:00 – 11:00 a.m. followed by a

Funeral Service at 11:00 a.m., both at Bellevue Memorial Funeral Chapel.

Interment: Arlington National Cemetery at a later date.

Memorials: Alzheimer’s Association  or Monarch House

1 Comment

  • Teresa Hollars Posted March 22, 2022 7:32 pm

    Irene had a heart of gold. She was the epitome of a dedicated Army & Air Force Exchange Service employee. She could set anyone at ease when they came into her presence which was such a beautiful gift especially to those employees new to the Exchange (AAFES). She loved her Catholic Faith so much and shared this with the Religious Education children at Offutt AFB. I will always remember Irene with a very special admiration and continue to smile as I think of her for many years to come.

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