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Irene (Nilsson) Taranoff

June 16, 1927 ~ July 12, 2020 (age 93)

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Irene Taranoff

June 16, 1927 – July 12, 2020

Irene Taranoff of Pleasant Hill passed away July 12. Formerly of Walnut Creek where she was active in the Boundary Oaks Women’s Golf group, Walnut Creek United Methodist Church and Habitat for Humanity, Irene was an avid photographer and gardener. Born Irene Nilsson June 16, 1927 to her Swedish parents Leonard and Helma in Shiloh Basin, Oregon – a rural part of Columbia County - she joined older sister Lillian. Irene skipped 2nd grade and graduated Rainier High School with a large group of friends that maintained contact for decades, participating in reunions into the 21st century that involved flowers, gardens and golf – all passions for Irene. At age 20 she married Peter Taranoff in 1948 with daughter Carol (now Beaverton, OR) joining the family a year later and Janet Goetz (Pleasant Hill) and Patti Stone (Hermosa Beach) following along a few years apart. All three daughters survive as well as Janet’s three children, Katie (Redwood City), Susie (Portland) and Brett (Portland) and Patti’s daughter Briana (Rohnert Park). Great grandchildren Tiernan and Evie Weaver; Duncan and Joni Skiles and Delilah, Phia and Milo Goetz also survive. Irene and Pete established their first homes in Columbia City, OR and Irene was heavily involved in 4H, the St. Helens Garden Club and the United Methodist Church while the three girls grew up. She loved her garden, describing it as both her passion and escape. After a brief move to Portland, the family moved to Walnut Creek where Irene continued her love for gardening – including succulents and cacti – which helped to foster a creative spirit of photography. The combination of interests and her natural enthusiasm led to contest entries at the Times Newspapers which she often won! Pete and Irene were long-time members of Walnut Creek United Methodist Church where she chaired the alter guild – preparing floral arrangements for Sunday services. She was an active participant and leader in the women’s crew of Habitat for Humanity – assisting on job sites, helping with and hosting fundraisers including galas, garage sales and even selling chocolate! She was the perfect partner for Pete – working for years in his business as a formal bookkeeper and primary confident and later in life serving as the primary manager of their real estate and finances. Those interests led to her drive to go to San Francisco State where she received a BA in accounting at age 50. A virtual service for Irene was held August 8 with Rev. Katie Goetz, Irene’s granddaughter, serving as officiant. Remembrances may be made to Habitat for Humanity or the Pete and Irene Endowment Scholarship Fund at Linfield University, McMinnville, OR.

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