Durango native Irene Mary Miernyk died Thursday, June 30, 2011, at her home in Los Angeles. She was 97.
Ms. Miernyk was born to Andrew and Elizabeth Sopko Miernyk on July 15, 1913, in Durango.
“Irene grew up in a close-knit family with three brothers: John, Andrew and William ‘Bill,’” her family said. “After graduating from Durango High School, she moved to Los Angeles, where she remained a life-long Angeleno yet always missed her mountain home.”
Ms. Miernyk held various positions before becoming personal secretary to Caroline Leonetti Ahmanson, a prominent Southern California philanthropist and businesswoman, for whom she worked for 53 years.
“An independent career woman, Irene was ahead of her times,” her family said. “Irene loved to entertain, play bridge and travel with her large family of friends in Los Angeles. She was a talented seamstress and craftswoman.”
Ms. Miernyk volunteered many hours to support the efforts of St. Anne’s in L.A., whose mission is to serve at-risk young women. She was a member of the Guild and served as its president from 2005 to 2006.
Ms. Miernyk is survived by several nieces and nephews.
A memorial Mass for Ms. Miernyk and her brother and sister-in-law William Henry and Mary Lorraine Davis Miernyk will be celebrated at 11 a.m. Saturday, June 23, 2012, at St. Columba Catholic Church, 1830 East Second Ave., in Durango. The Rev. James Koenigsfeld will be the celebrant. Interment will take place immediately afterward at Greenmount Cemetery.