Yerks, Ilene M., age 75, longtime resident of the New Fairfield/Patterson area, passed away on Tuesday, March 15, 2011, at the Danbury Hospital.
Ilene was born February 29, 1936 in Plattsburg, NY to Alpha and Florence (Naar) Parsons. Her “Leap Year” birthday became even more fun and exciting when her very first grandchild was also born on a Leap Year. With no February 29th in this calendar year, Ilene proudly stated her age as 18 ¾!
On January 12, 1954, Ilene married her one true love, Clarence “Cubby” Yerks, Jr. By the autumn of 1966 they moved with their four daughters to New Fairfield. Not long after, Ilene was hired by the town as one of its very first School Bus Drivers. She had certainly found her niche in life. For Ilene, work was an effortless pleasure! After 40 rewarding years of work, she retired in February of 2008.
Through the years, Ilene took part in many memberships and interests. She was a member of the Patterson Fire Department Ladies Auxiliary, the New Fairfield Historical Society, the New Fairfield Senior Center, and most recently a board member of the Maple Avenue Cemetery Association in Patterson. She enjoyed working at The Patterson Flea Market, where she was vendor for decades. She was an avid collector of bells and Santa Clauses. She was a true “people person” who thoroughly enjoyed helping others. She loved her country music, dancing, singing karaoke, and the color red.
Her greatest passion, however, was for her family. Nothing gave her more pleasure than spending time with “the kids.” The love lives on, she will be happily remembered but very sadly missed.
Ilene is survived by her daughters, Charlene Yerks Bartko of Danbury, CT, and Jolene Anne Bertrum of New Fairfield, CT; her sons-in law, John Bertrum and Rob Benicewicz; her grandchildren, Paul & Chrissy Laedke, Malissa Laedke, Sarah & John Morelli, Lindsay Benicewicz, Ashley Benicewicz & Evan Barchi, Heather Bertrum, Ryan Laedke, Ambyr Rae Bartko & Mikey Lisek, Bobby Bertrum & Jodi Grady, and Beccah Bertrum; her great grandchildren, Bailey Jo, Joseph and newly born, Jack; her dearest friend Butch Baker; her brothers, Alfred, George and Frank. Ilene was pre-deceased by her husband, Cubby, on November 15, 1987, as well as her eldest daughters Darlene Benicewicz on June 4, 2005 and Marlene Laedke on July 22, 2006.
A funeral service will be held on Friday, March 18, 2011 10am at New Life Community Church, RT 37 & Beaver Bog Rd. in New Fairfield, CT. Interment following at Maple Avenue Cemetery, Rt 311, Patterson, NY. Friends may call at the Dwyer Funeral Home, 23 South Street, Patterson on Thursday from 5 to 9pm.
Contributions in Ilene’s memory may be made to St. Jude’s Children’s Hospital, 501 St Jude Place, Memphis, TN 38105.