Irene Eve Samuels, wife of David Gonsalves, passed away peacefully at home Thursday evening, October 15, 2020, at the age of 66,
She was predeceased by her parents, Raphael (“Ralph”) Samuels and Pearl (Breitbart) Samuels, and her first husband, Richard Rower.
Irene was born on September 2, 1954 in Manhattan and raised in the Bronx and Orangeburg N.Y. She graduated from Tappan Zee High School in 1972 and SUNY New Paltz in 1976.
Shortly after her college graduation, Irene married her first husband, Richard Rower, with whom she had her sons, Larry and Steven Rower. While Rich was in the U.S. Coast Guard, the family lived in Maryland, Pennsylvania, Connecticut and Alaska, and afterwards in Arizona.
In 1989, Irene moved back to New York with her sons and lived in Piermont until 2003, when she married David Gonsalves. Together they lived in Rensselaer and then East Greenbush for the past 17 years.
Irene worked in tax preparation and bookkeeping while raising her sons, and after moving to the Capital Region she worked at Fort Orange Press and Premiere Transportation until her retirement in 2010.
After retiring, Irene traveled in the United States, Europe, and the Caribbean; was President of the Greenbush Garden Club and worked on her extraordinary gardens; played mah jongg; enjoyed her five grandchildren; and had a second career as an especially compassionate volunteer, eventually leading the AARP Tax-Aide site at the East Greenbush Community Library.
In addition to her husband, David Gonsalves, and his family, Irene is survived by her sister, Rachel Samuels and partner Robert Ihlenburg, sons Larry (Jessica) Rower, and Steven (Natasha) Rower, grandchildren Sophie, Ethan, Lily, Simon and Molly, cousins Neil (Cheryl) Schlossberg and Bruce (Marlene) Fayne and their families.
The family wishes to express their gratitude to Dr. John M. Bashant, Dr. Daniel C. Kredentser and the staff at Albany Medical Obstetrics and Gynecology, and everyone at The Community Hospice.
We must also extend our personal thanks to all her friends, co-workers, garden club members, food pantry and Tax-Aide volunteers, and everyone else who had the opportunity to work with or otherwise know Irene. Please know that she appreciated all the cards, calls, love and flowers.
At the family’s request, there will be no formal memorial service.
In lieu of flowers, the family would greatly appreciate memorial donations be made in her name to The Community Hospice Foundation, 310 S. Manning Blvd., Albany, NY 12208 or www.communityhospice.org.
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