Shirley “Irene” Walz


Shirley “Irene” Walz, 84, of North Platte, NE, died Sunday, February 9, 2014, at Great Plains Regional Medical Center in North Platte.

Shirley “Irene” was born January 9, 1930, to Elgin Smith and Ethel Louise Simants in North Platte where she grew up. At the age of 10, her stepfather, Archie “Jack” Konruff entered their lives. After her schooling, Irene worked on the family ranch north of town until she was married.

On February 19, 1951, Irene married Bernard “Bernie” H. Walz in Stapleton. They made their home on the ranch south of Stapleton where Bernie was raised. In 1958 they moved eight miles west of North Platte and later lived in the Hershey and North Platte areas. Irene worked for Coast-to-Coast before going to work for House Of Time for several years. When it closed she went to work for Hoover’s Jewelry. Irene later worked as a tour guide at Scouts Rest Ranch which she thoroughly enjoyed.

Irene was a member of St. Patrick’s Catholic Church. She liked to sew and loved dancing. She also enjoyed going to thrift shops and collecting anything with butterflies.

Survivors include her daughter, Sherri (Dave) Laubner, and two sons, Randy (Sheila) Walz and Rich Walz, all of North Platte; a daughter-in-law, Pat Walz, of Hershey, NE; nine grandchildren; six great-grandchildren; her sister, Lois (LeRoy) Branting, of North Platte; a niece, a nephew and other family.

Irene was preceded in death by her husband, Bernie; a son, Ken; her parents, Elgin Smith and Ethel Konruff, and stepfather, Jack Konruff; and a nephew, Russ Sandberg.

Cremation was chosen. A memorial service will be 1 p.m. Friday, February 14, 2014, at Odean Colonial Chapel at C & Sycamore. Inurnment will follow in Fort McPherson National Cemetery. The memorial book may be signed at or from 8:30 a.m. to 6 p.m. Thursday at Odean Colonial Chapel at C & Sycamore which is in charge of arrangements. Memorials are suggested to Scouts Rest Ranch.