Irene Lorena Valenzuela, 92, died Saturday, Jan. 28.
The daughter of John Sr. and Christina Wirth Heintz, she was born in Kerman on the family farm. She graduated from Kerman High School in 1937. Following high school, she attended Fresno City College and worked for the Bank of America. While in Fresno, she played semi-pro softball and played in an exhibition game at the 1939 Worlds Fair on Treasure Island near San Francisco.
In 1943, she married Msgt. Fred Valenzuela who was stationed at AAF Base Hamer Field in Fresno.
After WWII, her husband worked for The Greene Cattle Co. in the Chowchilla area as a foreman. In 1948, she and her husband moved to Knights Ferry where they lived, worked and raised their two sons at Rancheria Del Rio Estanislaus.
While in Knights Ferry, Mrs. Valenzuela was a leader and camp counselor for 4H at Camp Sylvester. She was a charter member at the Oakdale Country Club where she enjoyed playing golf. In 1963, she and her husband bought a ranch on Smith Road and moved to Oakdale. She worked at Hershey Chocolate making kisses until she retired in 1986. She loved gardening and playing Mahjong with her friends. She belonged to her Pine Cones group for many years.
She is survived by her sons, John, Loren (Karen), all of Oakdale; four grandchildren; and three great-grandchildren. She was preceded in death by her husband, Fred; five brothers; and two sisters.
A viewing was held Feb. 3 at Oakdale Memorial Chapel. A graveside service was held Feb. 4 at the Knights Ferry Cemetery followed by a celebration of life service at Sierra Baptist Church, Oakdale.
In lieu of flowers, remembrances may be made to The Vasculitis Foundation, P.O. Box 28660, Kansas City, MO 64188; or, to The Oakdale Cowboy Museum, 355 E. F Street, Oakdale, CA 95361.