Floral 19

Irene Maria Marvin

November 2, 1929 ~ March 25, 2022 (age 92)


Irene Maria Marvin, left this earth peacefully from her home to join her creator on March 25, 2022, surrounded by family and under the care of Hospice. She was 92.

Born and raised in Munich, Germany, her childhood and education was disrupted due to the war.  She survived World War II and was able to continue her studies to become a seamstress and a concert pianist. She had her own band and entertained guests for many events.

At age 18 she married an American solider (late Ralph Blackmer) and migrated to New York City.  Unable to speak, read, or write English, she was still very excited to begin her new life in a free country.  She studied hard to learn and was very proud when she officially became a United States citizen.  She loved this country and said America was “heaven on earth”.

Irene was blessed with seven children during her first and second marriages (late Ralph Blackmer and Jerry Witt).  To help provide for them, she held several jobs including working at FN Bert, Park Edge and Fisher Price where she retired in 1989.

Not long after retirement, Irene became President of the Club Lorelei in Hamburg, NY, a position she held for approximately 20 years and enjoyed tremendously; then Vice President for 1 year prior to the Club closing.  The Club held her heart and soul, as it connected her back to her homeland and also provided cultural enrichment for the entire German-American community.  She made many life-long friends including the Schwabin Choir, the German-American Musicians, The Frankfurters, and The Ausclanders to name just a few.  

She treasured the piano her late husband George Marvin gifted to her as it brought her early love for music to life. She played the piano beautifully—from classic concert pianist songs to Christian songs to golden tunes like ‘Roll out the Barrel’ and the like.  For a short time she also gave music lessons to young, inspiring students. Her love of music didn’t stop at the piano, she loved to sing and dance and was always on the dance floor!  Her German Polkas and dancing never cease to amaze anyone. Up to the day she passed she was moving those dancing feet!  Irene was a devout Christian. She and her partner, Walter Heilemann, sang in the church choir for many years and very rarely missed a Bible study at St. Paul’s United Church of Christ. She spoke of the Lord freely and to everyone she met.

Irene was always very lively. Her favorite thing to do was to visit with her children and her family.  She would welcome anyone with a huge smile, a little giggle, and a big hug.  Besides visiting, she loved going to the casino from time to time. “Elvira” and “the buffalos” were her favorite games…and she always won!  She also loved her garden, flowers, birds and wildlife friends she made along the way. At one time she would leave her french doors open and let the skunk, deer and rabbits come right into the house!

Irene also had a God-given talent for knitting and crocheting. She made clothes, dresses, and many a Halloween costume. She could sew and fix anything given to her. She made tablecloths, doilies and Christmas stockings, too many to count.  As the years progressed, she focused on crocheted blankets. She could make a stunning, full-size blanket in just a few days. She stacked them up; and when someone loved on her extra or she felt like handing one out, they would get one--with a loving twinkle in her eye and so much love in her heart.  You were truly blessed to get one of “Mommy’s” blankets.

Like her blankets, Irene was a treasure and will always be to all who knew her. She had spunk!  She was a strong, resilient, kind, happy, fun, generous, loving woman with a heart of gold.  She was an inspiration to all who crossed her path… a true blessing.  May she Rest In Peace, joy and happiness.

Survivors include her committed partner Walter Heilemann, mother of Ralph (Sydney) Blackmer, Sandy (Robert) Bowles, Jerry (fiancé James Armitage) Cribbs, Iheide (Clifford) Mayes and the late Terry Dutchess, David and Irene Bucher, mother-in-law of William Dutchess and Cathy Bucher, 14 grandchildren, 12 great grandchildren and many  close relatives in Germany and all of her extended family members.

She was the wife of the late Ralph Blackmer, Jerry Witt and George Marvin, sister of the late Manfred Merbitz  and Else Wieczorek.

Her family will be present on  Friday, April 29,  2022  from 2-4 & 7-9 PM at the RHONEY FUNERAL HOME, 5893 Hoover Road, SANBORN, NY.

A memorial service will be held on Saturday, April 30, 2022 at 11:00 AM at St. Paul's United Church of Christ, 7416 Campbell Blvd., North Tonawanda, NY.

Memorials may be made in her name to St. Paul UCC or Niagara Hospice.

Inurnment in Elmlawn Cemetery.

Visit www.rhoneyfuneralhome.com, for guest register.

To send flowers to Irene's family, please visit our floral store.


April 29, 2022

2:00 PM to 4:00 PM
Rhoney Funeral Home, Inc.
5893 Hoover Road
Sanborn, NY 14132-9215

April 29, 2022

7:00 PM to 9:00 PM
Rhoney Funeral Home, Inc.
5893 Hoover Road
Sanborn, NY 14132-9215

Memorial Service
April 30, 2022

11:00 AM
St. Paul's United Church of Christ
7416 Campbell Blvd.
North Tonawanda, NY 14120

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