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Anna Jane Ireland

Anna Jane Ireland, 98, passed away January 11, 2022, in Chandler, Ariz.

She was born to Enes and Janie Dale on September 9, 1923, in Rygate, Mont. Due to her mother's illness, she became the family baker at age 10. Her bread and roll recipes are a family treasure. From her sourdough starter, Anna Jane provided the sourdough pancakes for the Kiwanis Pancake Breakfast during the Gift of the Waters Pageant for many years.

She married Burt McKiernan in 1941 and they had four children, Dale, Patricia, Alda and Jennie. They later divorced. She married Francis Ireland in 1955 and became stepmother to Donna, Dean and Darel Ireland. Together, Francis and Anna Jane raised their blended family and operated Ireland's Big Four from 1962 through 1978. In January of 1964, Anna Jane was severely injured in a private plane crash in Colorado that took the lives of a Thermopolis family, Dr. Vaden, his wife and baby. Along with Anna Jane, an older child, Jeff, survived. Fifty years later he returned to Thermopolis to find her and thank her for her courage and help in his survival.

Anna Jane and Francis retired to Ten Sleep, Wyo., to build their own home and garden and became actively involved in the Ten Sleep Senior Center. Anna Jane received a Presidential Letter of Commendation from President Ronald Reagan for her involvement. Widowed in 1996, she returned to Thermopolis where she resumed her activity in the Thermopolis Senior Center until she moved to Chandler, Ariz., with her daughter, Alda Brost, who cared for her until she broke her hip and required 24/7 care.

Anna Jane was preceded in death by her husband, Francis; daughter, Donna Crow; sons, Darel Ireland and Dale McKiernan; and four grandchildren.

She is survived by children, Dean (Lucy) Ireland, Patricia (John) Serio, Alda Brost, Jennie Calentine; and numerous grandchildren, great-grandchildren and great, great-grandchildren.

Please join the family for a celebration of Anna Jane Ireland's life at 11 a.m. on June 22, 2022, at the Kiwanis Shelter in Hot Springs State Park. A potluck dinner is planned at the shelter following the service. Your favorite dish is welcome.


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