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Irene B.'s Story

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Irene B. Jefferis, 94, of Salem, Mass., passed away quietly on February 15, 2017. Born May 18, 1922, in Salem, she was the daughter of Michael J. Ruane and Roseanna Deschene. She married John M. Jefferis (deceased) in Salem, Mass. Irene worked for A. C. Smith Wholesale in Boston, then for 11 years she ran the Lynn branch of American Mutual Insurance Co., and for 30 years she was the office manager of Demakis & Demakis, CPA.
Irene became the first Auxiliary President of the Shaughnessy-Kaplan Rehabilitation Hospital and then served on the board for 17 years, hosting many membership drive luncheons at Tedesco Country Club, resulting in the club reaching well over 125 members in that span of time.
A 45-year member of the Salem Garden Club, she was vice president from 1977 to 1979 when the club celebrated its 50th Anniversary Golden Jubilee. While living in Salem, she was a member of St. James parish, where she was a lector until she moved to Marblehead in 1976, becoming a lifelong member of Our Lady, Star of the Sea parish. During WWII, she joined the USO in support of the military effort. The Ruane sisters were very active in Salem politics with their younger brother, J. Michael Ruane, representing Salem in the state house in Boston for well over 30 years. She could often be seen with her three sisters holding signs in various parts of the city. Beside his family, the sisters attended the dedication of the J. Michael Ruane Judicial Center on Federal Street in Salem.
Preceding Irene's passing were her son, Richard P. Jefferis; her sister, Doris Gibbons; her sister, Marguerite Henken; and her brother, J. Michael Ruane. Surviving family members include sister, Jeanette Kenniff; her daughter, Maureen Ames of Salem; and grandson, Blair M. Ames of Columbus, Ohio. She also leaves behind longtime friend and companion, William S. Demakis of Swampscott, Mass.
Those who wish may make memorial contributions to Vietnam Veterans of America Chapter 908, P.O. Box 8043, Lynn, MA 01904-0043.
A Mass of Christian burial will be celebrated on Friday, February 24, 2017, at 11 a.m. at Our Lady Star of the Sea Church, 80 Atlantic Ave., Marblehead, MA 01945. Friends and relatives are warmly invited to attend at church. Interment will take place at St. Mary’s Cemetery, 226 North St., Salem, MA 01970. For additional information or online guestbook, please visit www.MurphyFuneralHome.com or call 978-744-0497.
Published on  February 21, 2017
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