Cover photo for Irene Zawodny's Obituary
Irene Zawodny Profile Photo

Irene Zawodny

October 13, 1924 — February 29, 2024

“They” say that good things don’t last. Well, this one lasted 99 years, 4 months, and 16 days. Born in another leap year almost a century ago to Frank and Pearl Jagodzinski (Labiak), Irene Rita Zawodny decided it was time to see old friends and family on Thursday February 29, 2024. Throughout a long and full life filled with much travel, many adventures, and warm friendships, Irene was not the center of attention but the strong supporting player. She didn’t seek the spotlight but enjoyed watching others in it. A prototypical Busia and a child of the Greatest Generation, Irene divided her personality as a wife, grandmother, friend, and neighbor. She didn’t always dole out compliments to her grandkids, but she didn’t stop talking about them to her friends; she wasn’t scared to wash a mouth out with soap, but nobody ever had more or bigger hugs ready to give at any moment. She prepped the party, catered it, and returned everything to normal after. And when she bowled a great game…and she could bowl…if you weren’t there or didn’t pry it out of her, you would have never known because she wasn’t going to brag.
Irene, a lifelong Toledoan, grew up in the Kushwantz neighborhood, where she met her future husband and the love of her life, Aloysius “Ollie” Zawodny. She attended St. Hyacinth’s for elementary school and Whitney High School. After graduating, Irene worked at the Jeep factory and was a member of the United Auto Workers. After Ollie returned from serving in the Pacific during World War II, they married. The anniversary was easy to remember because it was on the day of the Jo Louis-Billy Conn heavyweight championship rematch, the first ever televised. Irene joked (maybe) that most of the men came to the reception to watch the fight. She worked until retiring to take care of Ollie when he became ill with cancer and preceded Irene into Heaven in 1982.
Irene is survived by her grandchildren Mickhael (Kayra), Ramsey, and Jim (Caroline), as well as her great-grandchildren Kyle, Katia, Max, and Isabelle. She was preceded by her husband Ollie, mother Pearl, and father Frank.
Irene’s visitation will be Wednesday March 6, 2024, from 10 am until 11 am in Blessed Sacrament Church where the Funeral Mass will begin at 11 am. with Fr. Michael Geiger officiating. Interment will follow in Calvary Cemetery, Toledo, Ohio. Urbanski Funeral Home a Life Celebration Home 5055 Secor Rd. Toledo, Ohio is assisting the family.
Many thanks to the staff who watched over her and called or texted Ramsey with updates when he wasn’t in town and who helped her remain active and engaged.
To order memorial trees or send flowers to the family in memory of Irene Zawodny, please visit our flower store.


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