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Irene Koubek, 96, retired teacher, avid gardener Aug. 20, 1914 -- July 29, 2011

Irene Koubek of Akron, an avid gardener and retired teacher, died Friday in Beechwood Continuing Care, Getzville, after a brief illness. She was 96.

Born Irene Ables in Buffalo, she grew up in Eden and was a graduate of Hamburg High School, Rider College and Canisius College. She taught in North Collins from 1957 to 1974. After retirement, she taught in the Collins Correctional Facility literacy program.

Mrs. Koubek was a charter member of the Beta Zeta Chapter of Delta Kappa Gamma, an international society for women educators, and was on the board for the Knight-Sutton Museum, serving as a docent for the Octagon House in Newstead.

An avid gardener, Mrs. Koubek was a docent for the Buffalo & Erie County Botanical Gardens, a president of the Eden Garden Study Club and served as the environmental chairwoman on the Eighth District and state garden clubs' boards. Known for her gardens, she spent much time taking care of the memorial gardens of Russell Park in Akron.

Mrs. Koubek was a member of Akron First United Methodist Church and volunteered with Hearts and Hands: Faith in Action. She was involved in fundraising for a new library when she lived in Eden, and after moving to Akron in 1995, she soon became a member of the Friends of the Library.

Her husband of 46 years, Richard A., died in 1985.

She is survived by a son, Richard; and a daughter, Mary Jane Shonn.

A memorial service will be at 11 a.m. Aug. 20 in Akron First United Methodist Church, 7 Church St.

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