August 31, 1945 – December 23, 2012
Carol Jean Irlbeck, 67, passed away peacefully in her sleep on Sunday morning, December 23, 2012, at her home in Des Moines. A Mass of Christian Burial will be held at 10 a.m. on Friday, December 28, at St. Theresa’s Catholic Church in Des Moines of which she was a member. In agreement with her wishes, cremation rites will follow services on Friday and a private committal service will take place at a later date.
Carol was born on August 31, 1945 in Pasadena, CA, one of five children to Gerald Frank and Myrtle Mae (Hubbs) Hillenbrand. She was a 1963 graduate of St. Mary’s Academy in Amarillo, TX, and earned her associate’s degree from DMACC. On December 26, 1963, Carol was united in marriage to the love of her life, Dean Edward Irlbeck in Amarillo. Their marriage was blessed with five children. Carol and Dean had lived in Texas, Montana, Minnesota, Illinois and Iowa.
In addition to being a homemaker all her life, Carol loved giving service to and watching out for others. She was a Ladies Aide for various parishes and was active with Marriage Encounter of which she had served on numerous retreats. Carol had worked at the daycare with St. Theresa’s and for years, had her own home daycare, caring for many special young children. Carol also worked as a Nurse’s Aide and volunteered countless hours at nursing homes. She was always adventurous, trying new things, new ideas and new foods; and loved to travel and see new places. Carol always had an ear to listen to her friends and family and often was the peacemaker. She wanted the best for people always putting her family and friends first over herself.
For Carol and Dean, the last couple years have been interesting and challenging. She was so courageous as she dealt with all of her pain and medical problems. Carol remained alert and kept her wonderful sense of humor to the very end. She was such a brave, loving, and lovely lady. Her kindness, generosity, courage, faith and love for others have been inspiring to all those who came into contact with her. Carol had even signed up to be a medical donor if there was part of her that could be helpful to others. We believe with certainty that she is in Heaven with their three children, and her parents and brother.
She is survived and lovingly remembered by her husband of nearly 49 years, Dean E. Irlbeck of Des Moines; two sons, Mark E. (Mary Lou) Irlbeck and Robert A. Irlbeck both of Des Moines; three sisters, Lois (Bill) Bronzi of Rockford, IL and Joan Hillenbrand and Mary Hillenbrand both of Bakersfield, CA; five grandchildren, Benjamin, Steven, Brittany, Vaughn and Joseph; and many nieces and nephews. Carol was preceded into eternal life by three children at infancy, Richard Michael, Mary Ann and Mary Angelica; her parents; and brother, Michael Hillenbrand.
While this is a sad time, Dean takes comfort that Carol isn’t suffering any more and he gives thanks for the time they had together and the love they had shared over the years. Her name, Carol Jean means “Joyful Gift of God”. He always called her his special Christmas Carol.
Visitation will be held from 5 to 7 p.m. on Thursday, December 27, at Iles Funeral Homes, Westover Chapel in Des Moines, where a vigil service will begin at 6:30 p.m.
The family has respectfully requested that any memorial contributions be made to either St. Theresa’s Catholic Church or School or a favorite charity of the Donor’s Choice.
ARRANGEMENTS BY ILES FUNERAL HOMES ~ WESTOVER CHAPEL.Information provided by: Iles Funeral Homes Westover Chapel 6337 Hickman Road Des Moines, IA 50322 www.ilesfuneralhomes.com