Irene E. Eitner, 92, passed away Aug. 31, 2020, at Pioneer Ridge Nursing Facility in Lawrence, KS after a long struggle with declining health. She was born in Gypsum, KS on Sept. 20, 1927, to Lawrence and Cora (Andrew) Swisher and grew up there surrounded by extended family. From 1939-1942, her parents relocated the immediate family to the Boise, ID area for better opportunities, then returned to Gypsum. Irene graduated from Gypsum High School in 1945, then entered U.S. Cadet Nurse Corps training in Denver, CO. She met her future husband Walter H. Eitner of Cold Spring, NY at a Denver hospital following his World War II service. Walt and Irene were married in Denver on Aug. 31, 1946. With support from the GI Bill, Walt began his academic career in Denver. Walt and Irene also lived in Rochester, NY and Ann Arbor, MI, then returned to Denver where their daughter Lisa and son Eric were born. In 1954 they settled in Manhattan, KS when Walt joined the faculty of Kansas State University. Walt passed away in 2004 and Irene moved to Lawrence, KS in 2013.
Irene is survived by daughter Lisa Eitner of Lawrence, KS, son Eric Eitner and his partner Diane Nemer of Houston, TX, grandson Ethan Eitner of Austin, TX, grandson Russell Eitner of Houston, TX, brother Leonard Swisher and his wife Inge Swisher of Reno, NV, brother Dwight Swisher and his wife Donna Swisher of Salina, KS, sister-in-law Dorothy Pfarrer of Bowie, MD, and many cousins, nieces and nephews.
She was preceded in death by her parents and husband, her sister Alta Frobenius of Salina, KS, her brother Marion Swisher of Gypsum, KS, her sister Fern Pieper of Huntington Beach, CA, and her sister Geneva Weston of Lawrence, KS.
The family will gather for a private inurnment and celebration of Irene’s life at a future time. Memorials may be sent to the Lawrence Humane Society in care of Rumsey-Yost Funeral Home, 601 Indiana St., Lawrence, KS, 66044.