Irene Ruth Bechthold Gensman was born on October 19, 1927 to Conrad and Lillie Bechthold on the family farm southwest of Darrouzett where she spent all of her childhood. Irene grew up in a German speaking family so she did not speak English until she went to school. Irene attended 1st through 5th grade at the Third Creek country school, which was 2 ½ miles south of their home. After the Third Creek country school consolidated with the Darrouzett ISD, she finished school in Darrouzett where she played basketball and tennis. After graduating in 1945, Irene went to work at the First National Bank in Darrouzett as a bank teller.
She married Donald Lloyd Gensman at her parent’s home on February 23, 1946 at noon. Her mother made a scrumptious meal for the guests to enjoy after the ceremony. After the wonderful meal, they traveled to Perryton, TX to see a picture show at the movie theatre. Her sister-in-law, Laurene and husband at that time, JB Watson, offered their home in Perryton, TX so they could stay the night after. In February 1996 they celebrated 50 years of marriage. To this union they had 6 children, Dennis Kay, Donita Mae, Judy Faye, Joyce Rae, Jean Gay, and Jackie Vay.
Don and Irene were farmers and ranchers most of their life. It was always a fun family affair when it came to working cattle that almost always ended with a picnic prepared by Irene. She was a full time stay at home mother, but worked some part-time at the Sunset Café and helped gather information for the US Census one year. In the summer and fall they were custom harvesters and would travel all summer following the wheat harvest season from south Texas to the Dakotas. Irene drove a combine and truck and did most of the cooking! After selling out in 1973, they purchased the Corner Drug Store in Darrouzett, where they were known for their old-time fountain drinks and malts. Irene worked behind the fountain, kept the books, and ordered the inventory. After selling the drugstore in 1981, they continued running cattle for several more years before retiring due to Don’s health. She loved gardening and helping others with their gardens. She was well known for her deviled eggs, fried chicken, liver and onions , sand plum jelly, oatmeal and zucchini cakes, and her juicy turkey and dressing!
Irene volunteered in the Darrouzett community as Girl Scout leader, Darrouzett Ex-Student Association where she kept up with addresses and deaths of the Darrouzett School attendees and teachers, Darrouzett Senior Citizens, the Darrouzett VIP program where she was selected as their Citizen of Year in 2019, and served on the board of the Wolf Creek Heritage Museum in Lipscomb, TX. She grew up going to the St. Paul Lutheran church in Lipscomb, TX where she was baptized and confirmed in her faith. After getting married, she attended the First United Methodist Church in Darrouzett where she served on several committees and was a faithful member. Irene loved watching her children, grandchildren, and great-grandchildren play sports. She seldom missed an event along with her dear friend, Fern Howard. At one time, those two ladies along with another dear friend, Peggy Howard, were referred to by many at “The Golden Girls” or “The Three Amigos”!
Irene is now rejoicing in heaven with her husband, Don, who passed in October 1998, her daughter, Joyce Rae Gensman Baker Stuckman in August 2021, an infant grandson Stephen Blake Meier, a grandson Kelly Gensman Caffey, a step grand-daughter Lori Ann Jackson, son-in-law Mike Davis, step great-granddaughter Isabelle Faith Adkinson, her parents Conrad and Lillie Bechthold, her sister Dorothy Travis and husband Don and their son Larry Travis, her mother-in-law, Isalone Rose Beach Gensman
Anderson, Father-in-law Lloyd Dennis Gensman and a Step Father-in-law, John Anderson, a brother-in-law Loren and his wife Betty and their son Alan and her sister-in-law Laurene and husband Wesley Stevenson all of Ottawa, KS and Laurene’s son Donald Dewayne Watson of Tulsa, OK.
Irene is survived by her son Dennis Kay and wife Rita of Midwest City, OK. Her daughters Donita Davis of Panhandle, TX, Judy Hudson and husband Jerald of Darrouzett, Joyce’s husband Don Stuckman of Alvin, TX, Jean Lewis and husband Kelly of Tulsa, OK, and Jackie Bowling Jackson and husband Jimmy of Pinebluff, Arkansas. She also leaves behind 8 granddaughters, Sonja Turner (Kevin) of San Antonio, TX, Starley Williams (Mark) of Orlando, FL, Stephany Gensman of Altus, OK, Shelley Kepple (Sam) of Marble Falls, TX, Shanda Tompkins of Waxahachie, TX, Ginger Schilling (Scottie) of Follett, TX, Chantil Garza (Hector) of League City, TX, Rindi Bowling of Woodward, OK, and Ramsi Adkinson (David) of Arlington, TX. and 6 grandsons, Shelby Meier (Shelley) of Yukon, OK, Quincy Hudson (Rachel) of Edmond, OK, Josh Baker (Ana) of Haslet, TX, Cash Lewis (Krista) of Austin, TX, Cade Lewis (Ashley) of Bixby, OK, and Raydn Bowling (Suzanne) of Marshall, OK. She also had 11 step grandchildren, 25 great-grandchildren, 30 step great grandchildren, 22 step great-great grandchildren, 2 step great great-great-grandchildren, her loving brothers, Herbert Bechthold and his wife Helen Ann of Darrouzett and Clyde and his wife JoAnn of Booker, TX, several nieces and nephews, and many other extended family and friends.
P.O. Box 202, Darrouzett TX 79024
Darrouzett Methodist Church
P.O. Box 25, Darrouzett TX 79024
Darrouzett Ex-Student Association
P.O. Box 202, Darrouzett TX 79024