Irene Scheck

February 18, 1932 - April 30, 2020
Irene Scheck

Irene Scheck (née Irén Bálint of Kőtelek) fled her homeland of Hungary during the Revolution of ’56. After spending time in Austria and Metz, France, she arrived in Canada aboard the Ascania Italian Ship on Dominion Day on July 1st, 1957. She marveled at the freedom, the friendliness of the people, and the prevalence of car ownership. She lived at Fulford Place in Brockville (now an Ontario Heritage site) where she received room and board along with the opportunity to study English and secure employment at a nearby hospital. She soon married George Pogany, which resulted in her first child, Robert Pogany. After the union dissolved, her mother, Maria Balint, came from Hungary to help with childrearing. Later, she married Frank Scheck and had her daughter, Cynthia and started a new life in Kingston, where she lived for most of her life even after the end of her second marriage. She had worked as an assistant occupational therapist for 10 years, aspired to be a home economics teacher after having attended McArthur College, but ended up working into her early sixties as a tailor at Canadian Forces Base (CFB) Kingston.  She briefly enjoyed the life of a “Snowbird” with her companion until his untimely death. She adored her cherry red Saturn, all things Hungarian (having had membership with the now defunct Hungarian Club while also serving on Kingston’s Folk Arts Council).  She had a love of music, nature, and literature – especially poems from her homeland and was often found humming and singing the songs of her youth even in her final weeks. Fervently strong, having survived both a heart attack and brain surgery, and in later life, dementia and seizures, her spirit was rarely broken. We will never forget her style, her zest of life, her quirky ways, and her unapologetic nature. She passed away peacefully in Guelph, Ontario. She is survived by her son, Rob (Sue), daughter Cynthia (John), grandchildren Shyla (Jesse), Amaelia, and Isabella; siblings Jolán and Zoltán (and predeceased by László and Imre), nephews László and Tíbor in the UK, Zoltán and László in Hungary; nieces Aghi and Ildikó, and extended family in New Jersey. 



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