Irene Tower

July 13, 1922-January 26, 2024


Irene Tower, aged 101, passed away on January 26, 2024. Irene was born in New York, NY, and spent her formative years in Freeport, ME and Bergen County, NJ, before settling in Newburgh, NY, where she lived most of her adult life until moving to Des Moines, IA, in 2005.

Irene was predeceased by her husband, David E. Tower. She leaves behind a legacy of love and family, survived by her three daughters, Leslie Tower, Jane Tower Gunnison, and Joanne Tower Roth (Jonathan); four grandchildren, Matthew Gunnison (Courtney), Elizabeth Gunnison Dunn (Andrew), Ian Roth, and Alice Roth; and five great-grandchildren, Nate Gunnison, Elle Wilber, and James, Edward, and Rory Dunn.

 Irene cherished her family and home above all. She found joy in cooking, gardening, and sewing which she applied to create a warm and welcoming home. Nothing made Irene happier than having her family gathered together.

Irene's passion for the arts was a defining aspect of her life. She studied drawing and painting but photography was her favorite medium. In the 1980s, she opened a photography studio and achieved recognition with her work which was exhibited at the Salamagundi Club in New York. Irene's artistic spirit continued to flourish through her photography until 18 months ago. Irene deeply valued education for her children and was herself a life-long learner, turning her attention late in life to finance and investing, which she actively followed well into her 90's.

Irene was a woman of deep faith who actively participated in church wherever she lived including Calvary Presbyterian Church in Newburgh, St. John’s Episcopal Church in Cornwall, NY, St. John’s Episcopal Church in Naples, FL, and the Cathedral Church of St. Paul’s in Des Moines. She continued her volunteer work at St. Paul's into her late 90s.

Donations may be made in Irene's memory to the Food Bank of Iowa, or St. Croix Hospice, Des Moines.