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Irene May Kargas

April 2, 1946 — April 17, 2023


Irene May Kargas


Irene May Kargas, age 77, passed from this world on April 17, 2023 at her home in Demotte, IN. Born in Chicago on April 2, 1946 to Walter and Geraldine (Haid) Zahrndt, Irene was an only child who enjoyed being the center of attention. Popular and social, Irene could get along with anyone, as attested to by her innumerable friendships, many of which spanned decades. Among her favorite activities growing up were shopping, dancing, and roller skating, where she wowed onlookers with her effortless skill and impeccable style.

Graduating from George Washington High School in Chicago, it wasn’t long before Irene was walking down the aisle, wedding Peter Kargas at Chicago’s Church of Annunciata in 1966. The following year, the first of Irene’s two children would be born. Born on February 2nd, Chris was the apple of his mother’s eye. Three years later, a daughter followed, and although Dawn claims that Chris was the favorite, Irene’s love knew no bounds. While they were young, the children enjoyed trips to visit their large extended family, as well as frequent trips to the beach, and to the roller rink where Irene taught her children some of her prodigious skill.

Irene and Pete eventually settled their family down in Hammond, IN where they resided for more than 40 years in close proximity to many of Irene’s lifelong friends, Elena Iovan, Sharon Halas, Chris Martino, Randy Cameron, Sharon McClain and Char Harders among others too countless to name. It was while living in this house that Irene became a grandmother, perhaps the most important role she played in her long life. Affectionately known as ‘Nanny’ because ‘Grandma’ made her feel too old, Irene shared a special relationship with each of her grandchildren, and later, each of her great-grandchildren.

After a long stretch in Hammond, Irene and Pete relocated to Demotte, IN where they tried to enjoy a quiet life in a more relaxed setting, but Irene was restless. Until the end of her life, the energy and spirit that made Irene so popular and well-loved never left her. She always longed for more and all of those who loved her may now rest easy knowing that her soul goes on, boundless and eternal, free from all constraints to explore that great unknown.

Preceded in death by her parents, Irene is survived by her husband Peter, children Chris (Kristen) Reynolds and Dawn (John Kmetz) Zubrenic, grandchildren Nicholas (Meghan) Valcich, Katherine (Allen Polkinghorn) Valcich, Allison and Audrey Zubrenic, and Ryan and Sara Reynolds as well as great-grandchildren, Gavin, Vivian, and Luna.

As per her wishes, Irene will be cremated.

In lieu of a wake, a Celebration of Life will be held at a later date in the summer.

For more information, please contact Dawn Zubrenic at (219) 742-9565 or on her Facebook page.



Thank you to her family for providing this obituary.

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