It is with our heavy hearts to share that Irene Jean Hall passed away on May 6, 2023 in San Diego, California. Irene lived completely on her own at the age of 96, with the exception of her sweet kitty Misty. Irene fractured her left hip at the end of March 2023 and was placed at the Kearny Mesa Rehabilitation Center in San Diego on April 4, 2023. The doctors had hoped that she could get back to using her walker and then move into an assisted living facility. Irene tried very hard to complete her physical therapy sessions, but unfortunately, her body was getting weaker and weaker. In the moments when Irene had clarity, she loved to talk about the happy moments in her life.
Irene Jean Hall was born on November 14, 1926 in Oakland, California to Bruno Waldemere Von Deter from Germany and Jean Helen Staff from England.
Irene and her sister Estelle and her brother Bruno were born during the Great Depression. They lived in the Oakland area for awhile. They all got along well with Irene being in charge as the oldest sibling. The children, along with their parents, would go back and forth on the ferry to San Francisco. The family then moved to San Francisco in 1939 as jobs picked up and war was looming. Bruno the father got a very good job and they moved into a house at 714 Laurel Street. The kids along with the parents would visit Golden Gate Park, Pacific Beach, Funland and the Cliff House. They would ride the cable cars downtown to shop with their mother. Then in 1939 the family all visited the San Francisco World Fair on Treasure Island. Irene graduated in 1944 from Washington High School in San Francisco. She worked as a sales clerk at The Emporium in San Francisco after high school. When Pearl Harbor was bombed on December 7, 1941, things became very different for everyone. After the war, the family moved to Yuba City.
Shortly after that, Irene met Harold Shepherd, a rancher in Yuba City. Irene and Harold married in Yuba City in 1945. She had two sons, named Harold Richard born May 16, 1946 and Robert Eugene, born July 9, 1947. They lived in Yuba City at the Shepard Ranch with Harold’s parents John and Mary Shepherd. Irene and Harold divorced a few years later.
On August 27, 1950, Irene married World War II Veteran Leonard Wayne Hall in Sacramento, California. They welcomed a daughter named Carrie Ellen on January 22, 1954. Len worked as an engineer for the Sacramento Railroad and Irene stayed at home to raise her children. Irene eventually took a job with the Department of Motor Vehicles and she retired from the state of California at the age of 62. Len and Irene lived in the Sacramento area until Len passed away on November 11, 1992. On May 5, 1999, Irene then moved to San Diego to be closer to her children Rich and Carrie. She loved to comment that she arrived in San Diego on Cinco De Mayo.
Irene loved animals, especially cats. She was always welcoming stray kitties into her home. She would feed and care for them until they were comfortable being part of the family. While living in Sacramento, their daughter Carrie gifted her parents with a little dog named Beau, who they loved so very much. Irene loved walking Beau to the Big Valley (as she called it) down the street from her. She also had a Ragdoll cat named Tomas who came to her home one day looking for a handout. Eventually, Tomas became so comfortable with Irene, he decided he wanted to be part of the family. Sadly, Beau did not make it to San Diego with Irene as he had passed a few years earlier. But Tomas made the trip and lived with Irene in her apartment for quite a number of years and eventually passed away at a very old age.
Irene Hall is preceded in death by her parents, Bruno and Jean; as well as her husband, Len; her sister-in-law Audrey; her daughter Carrie and Carrie’s husband Marty; and her son, Richard.
Irene is survived by her sister Estelle and her brother Bruno; her son Robert and his wife Becky; her daughter-in-law Denise (who was married to her son Richard); her grandchildren, Becky Sheperd, John Sheperd and his wife Jenifir, Katie Martin and her husband Steven. She is also survived by her great grandchildren, Brianna, Lukas, John, Jacob, Samuel and Emily.
Irene will be remembered for her love for her family, her love of animals and her wonderful sense of humor. No matter what hardships she experienced, she was always gracious and stayed strong. One of her favorite quotes was, “If I don’t laugh, I’ll cry”.