Irene Shipps


March 3, 2012 - 12:00 AM

Irene Betty Botham Shipps, 87, of Iola died Thursday, March 1, 2012, at Allen County Hospital in Iola.

Irene was born Feb. 7, 1925, near Wakefield, the daughter of George Avery and Marie (Christensen) Babb. The family moved from Wakefield to Fiscus, Iowa, then to the Junction City area until she was 12. She settled with her family in Coffey County near Le Roy where she graduated from high school.

On Jan. 23, 1944, Irene married Geldard M. “Bob” Botham in Burlington. They made their home in Burlington until moving to Iola in 1949. They owned and operated Botham Sewing Center until he died on Nov. 13, 1976. She sold the business to Bob Garver.

On June 26, 1978, Irene married John L. Shipps, and they made their home in Iola. He died on Aug. 22, 2009.

Irene enjoyed sewing, craftwork, gardening, yardwork, reading and watching TV in her later years. She had been a member of the Goodwill Club in Iola since 1979.

She is survived by two nephews, David Michael Burgess, Midland, Mich., and Steven Richard Burgess, Dania Beach, Fla.; and a niece, Lisa Anne Arndt, New York, N.Y.

She was preceded in death by a son, Jeffrey Kent Botham on March 9, 1976, and her sister, Margaret Ilene Burgess Arndt.

Funeral services will be at 1 p.m. Tuesday at Waugh-Yokum & Friskel Memorial Chapel in Iola. Burial will be in Highland Cemetery in Iola.

Memorials to American Heart Association may be left at the funeral home. Online condolences for the family may be left at




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