Irma “Irmchen” Martha Käthe Mechling was born on May 24, 1934 to Frieda and Auguste in Groß Rhüden, Germany. As a child she attended school in Germany. Irma grew up on her parents’ farm, the Jürges farm, where she met her future husband, Erich Mechling. Erich worked for her father and mother. Irma was united in marriage to Erich on December 2, 1950. The young couple’s marriage was blessed with one beautiful daughter, Rita. In 1955 the young family immigrated to the United States, and settled down in northern South Dakota. Several years later the family then moved to Jasper, Minnesota. After years of hard work, Erich and Irma purchased their home in Ihlen, Minnesota in 1968. While living in Ihlen, Irma worked as Head Chef at the Glass House for almost 18 years. Their daughter, Rita, passed away in June of 1985. Irma and Erich remained in Ihlen until 2015, when they moved to Brookings, South Dakota to be closer to their granddaughters. On December 31, 2018, Erich passed away and Irma continued to live on her own with their cat, Moka. Irma was blessed with the ability to stay self-sufficient and be independent through nearly her last days in Brookings. She entered the care of Ava’s House in Sioux Falls, South Dakota and received amazing care from the staff there. Her family will forever be grateful for their presence. Irma passed away peacefully on Saturday, October 10, 2020 at the age of 86 years, four months, and 17 days.
Irma enjoyed having family and friends visit from Germany. Visitors would say they never ate the same thing twice! Irma truly enjoyed spending time with her granddaughters, great-grandchildren, and friends. She always remembered everyone’s birthday and she was the first one to call you. The countless conversations she had with her grandchildren on their drives home from work every day are treasured beyond measure and will never be forgotten! Irma also had a fond love of all animals.
Irma is lovingly remembered by her previous son-in-law, Robert Kortlever of Brookings; four granddaughters, Gina (Tyrone) Ijeh of Montrose, New York, Lannett Brown of Huron, South Dakota, Rochelle (Tim) Brown of Brookings, and Amber Kortlever of Scottsdale, Arizona; 10 great-grandchildren; four great-great-grandchildren; one sister, Erna; two brothers, Heini and Peter; many relatives in Germany; and numerous other family and friends. She was preceded in death by her husband, Erich; daughter, Rita; her parents; sister-in-law, Sigrid Jürges; and nephew, Dieter Jürges.
In accordance with Irma’s wishes the family will be holding a private memorial service at the Ihlen cemetery.
In lieu of flowers memorials are preferred to the family.