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Irene V. Wilson

March 29, 2018

Irene V. Wilson, 73, of Brownville passed away at her home on Thursday, March 29, 2018.

Irene was born in Poland on August 6, 1944, daughter of Stefan and Anna Powlski Varakuta. Her family fled Poland when Irene was just 5 years old and came to the United States. She attended high school in Massena and graduated from SUNY Cortland where she received her Masters Degree in education. A marriage to Roy E. Wilson ended in divorce.

She began her career as a reading specialist and second grade teacher in Clinton, NY. While there, she was a member of the Junior League of Utica, helping underprivileged children. In 1985, she and her two children relocated to Watertown where she served as principal at Knickerbocker Elementary School, Ohio Street School and North Elementary School. She retired in 2014 after 36 years in education.

There was nothing more important to Irene than her family and making an impact on the lives of the many students she encountered. Irene was very civic minded and served on numerous boards, councils and organizations throughout her career and in retirement. An avid reader, Irene was an advocate for Watertown Education Association Little Libraries.

She is survived by her two children, Shelby L. Morgia and husband, John E., Black River and Steven R. Wilson, Holly Springs, NC; two grandchildren, Bailey A. Wilkinson and Kendall McDaniel; two brothers, Alex Varakuta and long time companion, Sandra Noyes, Massena and Russell Varakuta, London, England; one niece, Nicola Varakuta, and one nephew, Tristan Varakuta.

Calling hours will be held at Cummings Funeral Service, Inc., Watertown on Tuesday, April 3rd, from 4 - 7PM. There will be no funeral service and burial will be at the convenience of her family.

In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to the Irene V. Wilson Scholarship Fund, c/o the Northern New York Community Foundation, 131 Washington Street, Watertown, NY 13601. Online condolences to her family may be posted at www.cummingsfuneral.com.


#17 Don & Gail Butterfie 2018-05-19 11:52
We were so sorry to hear of Irene's death. We both had the privilege of working with Irene at Knickerbocker and Ohio Street schools. We have many fond memories of those times. Our thoughts and prayers are with you.
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#16 Brenda McConnell 2018-04-02 17:12
I was so sad to hear of Irene’s passing. She stopped in the Village office a couple weeks ago and as always I enjoyed having a nice conversation with her. A beautiful woman inside and out. My thoughts and prayers go out to your family.
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#15 Becky & Rod Eastman 2018-04-02 08:27
Shelby thoughts are with you and your family
at this time
What a amazing women your Mother was
and that can be seen threw you Shelby.
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#14 Linda Nases 2018-04-01 23:57
I first met Mrs.Wilson at Ohio st school, in 1997 when my daughter started kindergarten. She was a wonderful person and my daughter loved her. Then, When I obtained a non instructional job at North around 2007 I was happily surprised to find Mrs Wilson as principal there! She was still just as loving with her students (and remembered my daughter which amazed me as she was a quiet child) She was always very supportive of my coworkers and I and always ready with a listening ear for any suggestions or concerns we had,
We were all sad to learn of her passing, we truly loved Irene. A wonderful, caring and dedicated woman.
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#13 Mary Hughes 2018-04-01 22:21
I got to know Irene initially by working in the school district. She was an icon when it came to being an advocate for the students in our schools. She was extremely devoted to her job and was beloved by so many of the teachers that were fortunate enough to work along side her. But, I got to know Irene on a more personal level when her daughter Shelby married into our family. She was a kind and gentle soul that was so proud of all that her children and grandchildren had accomplished. She struck me as the kind of person who always thought about what she wanted to say before she said it. Irene was a thoughtful person who always offered her help at a moments notice. She will be truly missed around our dinner table at the holidays. We were blessed to know her and call her a part of our family.
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#12 Sue Donato 2018-04-01 08:28
So sorry for your loss. My boys had the honor to have Ms.Wilson as their principal. They loved her as much as she loved each and every student at North. Always reassured me that they were fine in the early years of their education. She gave me a hug when I was crying as I dropped off my first son for Kindergarten! God bless!
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#11 Judy Overton 2018-03-31 19:45
I am sad to hear of Mrs. Wilson's passing. I had the opportunity to work with her during the development of the school based dental program at North Elementary. She was always receptive to whatever could benefit her students and their families and was always available to ensure that needed services were there for them.
My sincere condolences to her family.

Judy Overton
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#10 Mark L. Taylor 2018-03-31 11:46
I had the pleasure of having Irene mentor me at the beginning of my admin career in Watertown.
She was a strong advoacte for every child to have equal opportunity for educational, social and emotional growth.

She made a impact on my life as well as the many children and families that attended Knick, Ohio and North. She will be missed.
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#9 Ilene Nutting 2018-03-31 09:04
So sorry to heard your Mother passed away. Prayers to you and your family.
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#8 Julie Valvo 2018-03-31 07:37
I had Irene for a principal at North. Great lady. She will be missed.
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