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Edith Marie Irish
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Obituary for Edith Marie Irish

Edie Irish-1928-2018

Adventure Traveler, Member of the Explorer and Circumnavigators Clubs,

Named Most Traveled Woman in the World (1986), by the Travelers Century Club, after visiting 279 Countries

Author of two (2) books chronicling her journeys

Mother of four.

My mother passed away today at age 90. She had a long and amazing life.

She grew up in Evanston, Illinois, the youngest child of Swedish immigrants. She had an idyllic childhood, spending her summers at the modest family cottage in Door County, WI doing things like picking cherries, climbing an observation tower, and whatever hijinks she and her brothers could come up with.

Over dinner, her grandfather, a former sailor, would entertain the family with stories of his life at sea, foreign lands, and other cultures. Early on, she knew that she wanted to travel and see the World.

After High School, she obtained a nursing degree, and began working at Grant Hospital. There, she met my Father, a medical student at U of I. They got married, and started raising a family, but her desire to travel and see the World was still there. She started traveling on family vacations with my father, and sometimes would set off on her own.

She became very involved with the Student Foreign Exchange program, and invited foreign students from Brazil, Nepal, Sweden, etc. to live with us for the school year (she reconnected with most of those students years later on trips to their countries). She had an endless fascination with the World, and its peoples.

From her travels, she became acquainted with a number of celebrities. She met and became friends with Muhammad Ali on a trip to Auckland, New Zealand in Feb. 1979. Ali was there for an exhibition fight with Jimmy Ellis. He invited her to join his "entourage" for the fight. She also met former Notre Dame Univ. President, Father Ted Hesburgh, on a cruise to Brazil in 1979. They enjoyed playing Bridge together during the long days at sea.

My mother lived and taught tolerance and understanding throughout her life. She had a rare ability to communicate and find common ground with people from very different religious, ethnic, and economic backgrounds. Even the "language barrier" never proved to be much of a barrier for her.

She had a very long "bucket list" and ended up traveling to nearly all of the World's countries, and all of our National Parks. She was the most adventurous person that I've ever known (and probably ever will).

And she was a good Mom too!

Mom, it's a lonely World without you!

She is survived by her 4 children-Bob Irish, Rebecca McGraw, Bruce Irish, and Barb Hoberg, and 8 Grandchildren-Kyle Lawrence, Lindsey Lawrence, Lauren Lawrence, Kelsey Lawrence, Erik Hoberg, Jake Hoberg, Nicholas Hoberg, and Jake Irish.


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