Agnes Rose (Barylak) Irwin, 105, passed away peacefully surrounded by her family, early Friday morning, August 3, 2012.
Agnes was born on June 14, 1907, in Iowa City, Iowa, to Anna (Falls) Barylak and Stephen Barylak. She was one of ten children. Her mother was born in Oxford Iowa and her father came to this country from Austria/Hungary. Agnes lived in Iowa until May of 1917, when the family moved to Wyoming. They came by train. Her mother and nine children rode in a passenger car and her father rode in another car with their one cow and two horses. An uncle shipped their two dogs later. The tenth child was born in Wyoming. They got off the train in Clearmont, WY, and a wagon took them to a house located between Ucross and Clearmont. They lived there for about two years and the kids worked in the sugar beet fields. Her dad then homesteaded between Clearmont and Ulm, about five miles from Clearmont. Later they moved to Ucross, not far from the Big Red Barn. From there, the family moved to Sheridan and lived in a house across from the present day Sheridan College. Agnes attended Holy Name School. It took her longer to graduate because she worked in the sugar beet fields for six months of the year and went to school the other six months. She said her brothers hauled sugar beet pulp to feed sheep. After she graduated from HNS, she worked at home and then for families in the Big Horn area. She was working for the Cliff Irwin family when she met her future husband,Wally W. Irwin. They were married in December 31, 1940 and lived at Fort McKenzie (VA Hospital) where Wally and Agnes both worked. They had two daughters, Janet L. (Mrs. James) Wilson of Big Horn and Bessie J. (Mrs. Richard) Green of Sheridan. After her two daughters were older, Agnes worked in nursing homes, at the Sheridan Center, cleaned houses and babysat.
The family moved to town, from the VA in 1960. Agnes and her husband raised a huge vegetable garden at 1208 Emerson St. They sold, and also gave away their vegetables, to area residents for many years. Her husband died in 1974, and she continued to tend to the house, lawn and garden by herself. Agnes finally gave up her home in October 2001, at the age of 94 and moved in with her daughter Bessie and son-in-law Dick. She continued to stay active by going to services at Holy Name Catholic Church, knitting, crocheting, baking delicious bread, taking care of dogs and against everyone's wishes, cleaning the house. She lived with Bessie and Dick for ten years until she moved to Westview Healthcare Center. She enjoyed her four grandchildren – Maura and (Steve) Holzerland, Katie Schaefer, Cathy Wilson (Rick Briscoe) and Zach Green and four great grandsons -Shannon Holzerland, Brendan and Henri Schaefer and Kyler Green. She worked hard all of her life- this is probably why she lived to be 105.
A visitation will be held from 6:00 to 7:00 PM, Thursday, August 9, 2012, at Kane Funeral Home. Mass of Christian Burial for Agnes will be at 10:00 am Friday, August 10, 2012, at the Holy Name Catholic Church with Father Ron Stolcis officiating. Internment will be in the Sheridan Municipal Cemetery. A reception will follow at the Parish Hall.
Memorials can be made to Holy Name Catholic School, 121 S. Connor, Sheridan, WY 82801 or the Sheridan Dog and Cat Shelter, 84 E. Ridge Road, Sheridan, WY 82801.
Online condolences may be written at www.kanefuneral.com.
Kane Funeral Home has been entrusted with arrangements.