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Irene Sapay

June 12, 1947 ~ May 4, 2023 (age 75) 75 Years Old
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Irene Sapay Obituary

It is with great sadness that our family announces the passing of our Grandmother, Mother, Daughter, Sister, Auntie, and Dear Friend to many, Irene Sapay of Winnipeg on Thursday, May 4, 2023 at approximately 1:45 in the afternoon at Misericordia Hospital in Winnipeg after a battle with cancer. 

She leaves to cherish her memory, her mother Cecelia Sapay; her daughter Rose Thunder-McLean (Marty); sister Nora Sapay; brothers David Sapay, Jimmy Sapay; her grandchildren Kerishia Courchene (Thomas) and Noah McLean. Lott and Mildred Thunder who adopted her daughter Rose at 4 weeks old. Her cousin Helga Hamilton (Sandy Robinson) as well as her surviving aunts and uncles. She will also be missed as a friend and cousin to many who loved and cared for her.


Irene was born in Fort Hope, Ontario on June 12, 1947.  She grew up in Sioux Lookout, Ontario and lived there for many years before moving to Winnipeg, Manitoba.  Winnipeg became her forever home. She enjoyed the city and loved the luxuries of living in the city.  The rainfall was her favorite where she would open her windows and enjoy the sound and smell of the fresh rain. Irene was a gentle soul and showed kindness to everyone she met.  Irene was peaceful, humble and kind.  She loved her privacy and loved life to the fullest.  She had a strong devotion to the Lord, and she Loved the Lord with all her heart. She also loved reading her Bible and watching her favorite gospel programs on tv.  She loved gospel music and was also an amazing singer.  Irene’s hobbies were beadwork and was excellent at making traditional style Indigenous earrings.

Some of Irene’s favorite pastimes was venturing out to the shopping malls and spending time with her aunties, cousins and friends.  She also enjoyed writing out songs and singing hymns. Irene loved glamorous things and was always so stunning with her beautiful make-up, hair and nails done perfectly.  She had quite the collection of make-up and also loved her jewelry collection.

Even though Irene suffered from a few conditions with her health, she continued to enjoy life to the fullest.  Her pride and joy were her only daughter Rose, and Rose’s Family.  When you walked into her apartment, pictures of Rose are all you would see along with pictures of her grandchildren and Rose’s husband. Irene and Rose had a special relationship with each other.  While Rose was growing up, she would often visit Irene and her Grandma in Sioux Lookout, Ontario.  Beautiful memories were made throughout the years and the Mother-Daughter bond lasted a lifetime.

Irene’s love for Jesus was very clear. In her home were many Bibles and she always talked about her relationship with her Lord.  She loved and served the Lord faithfully right until the end. Irene’s beautiful smile, kindness and love will be greatly missed by everyone who knew her.  Her soft voice and sweet giggles will forever resonate in our hearts.


We love you forever and always.


Wake Service will be held at 7:00 p.m. on Wednesday, May 17, 2023, at Eternal Grace Funerals, with Evangelist Lott Thunder officiating. 

Funeral service will be held at 11:00 a.m. at Eternal Grace Funerals on Thursday, May 18, 2023.

Interment to follow at the Brookside Cemetery, 3001 Notre Dame Avenue, Winnipeg, with Pastor Marty McLean officiating. 


The active Pallbearers will be Shannon Jack, Noah McLean, Jeremy Evans, and Vernon Thomas.

Honorary Pallbearer will be Kerishia Courchene.




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